Friday, July 25, 2008

Jasmine Needs A Home

UPDATE: Jasmine has been adopted! Thanks for your interest. Stayed tuned for future foster cat video updates, should more foster cats find their way into our home.

The King County Animal Care & Control shelter has many great foster cats ready to find their permanent homes, including Jasmine, who we are currently fostering. If you would like to adopt Jasmine, please email dee dot cordell at kingcounty dot gov. To help you decide, please enjoy a video I made of Jasmine.

While in our home, Jasmine interacted with our dog and several cats. She loves to sit on a lap, she loves to flop on her back to have her belly rubbed; generally, she just loves attention. She's very calm and sweet, likes to knead and give love nibbles, and is ready to go into her forever home.


Where would you be without coffee? I'd have failed out of college; not a promising start. Thanks coffee-flavored caffeine!

Crossposted by LoudTwitter

Thursday, July 24, 2008


  • 11:55 It is not unpatriotic to want change. #
  • 15:58 Get ready for it: Autism is NOT caused by vacinations. Read on, and help nerf this nonesense: #
  • 16:20 Perception is king. Those with the tools to spin perception are the kingmakers. #
  • 00:58 2 hours of kickboxing today and 1 of jujutsu. A big day, calorie wise. Have I slipped over the edge and become obsessed? Perhaps. #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter

-Edited to remove @replies; future microblogs will automatically avoid sending replies here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Atomic Array Game Podcast

So I've listened to two episodes of Atomic Array, a new game podcast. I quite liked them, and will be keeping this podcast in my stable. I particularly liked the 2nd episode, where the guest Darrin Drader talked about his SciFi RPG, Reign of Discordia. I'm a great fan of science fiction roleplaying, despite the fact my day job rarely affords me the opportunity to go in that direction. In fact, one of my best friends and I went a long way towards writing our own scifi RPG write before TSR hired him back in the day. It sounds like RoD has some great scifi opportunities.

Back to the podcast: At one point in the 2nd episode, one of the hosts makes a great plea about the state of our space program, a position I am in complete agreement with. Want to hear what he has to say? I guess you'll have to subscribe to the podcast.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


  • 12:36 My plan suceeded. Merely required that I pack lunches, work-out clothes, and day clothes last night. Only forgot to bring one thing. #
  • 18:47 100% of electricity from renewables within 10 years. Inspiring idea. Let's try for it and see if we can't hit 35%, then throw a grand party. #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tapestry of Me

Just heard recording of a broadcast picked up by nanotube radio the size of a molecule. Maybe the Singularity is closer than I thought. 10:26 AM July 17, 2008

Turns out Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog is worth a view. 01:20 PM July 17, 2008

I had such dreams for this republic of equals. Still do. 10:22 AM July 18, 2008

Next on the reading docket: Final Theory, a modern day Einstein-inspired thriller. The mix of action and real science is fabulous so far. 12:38 PM July 18, 2008

The stone was cold. The scant words etched on it were an invitation to desolation. She was gone, and all his plans and hopes were ash. 11:56 AM July 18, 2008

Got to see the Practical Guide to Wizardry today. Wow! I guess I have more in common with 6 year olds than I thought, because I loved it! 02:39 PM July 18, 2008

So dawns another 16 hour slide on the fulcrum of the present. I clutch at the tatters of successive diversions to see me through. 10:51 AM July 20, 2008

Now a question for our viewers: If Loudtwitter stops working (a service that automatically reposts microblogs from Twitter, as many previous posts below are composed of), anyone know of another service I can try out? (hopefully, loudtwitter is merely gummed up and not down for the count). It's a pretty handy service, in that it ships my tweets here, which is the clearinghouse I prefer for all my projects and ambitions Yes, I set up a friendfeed, but hmm, that seems like a service designed for a stalker.

Friday, July 18, 2008


  • 11:49 Disentangling ego from an idea's value is hard. #
  • 13:26 just heard recording of a broadcast picked up by nanotube radio the size of a molecule. Maybe the Sinularity is closer than I thought. #
  • 16:20 Turn's out Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog is worth a view. #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter

Thursday, July 17, 2008


  • 19:29 I made the mistake of telling Santa about Fallout 3. Now I have to wait for Santa Day on Dec 25th for my Vault-tek sponsored joyride. #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


  • 12:16 Enjoying the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The plot and action seems a little fierce for a YA book--maybe another reason I'm liking it. #
  • 14:52 Fallout 3 on XBOX 360 Oct 7th FTW! #
  • 17:45 More than clever plans and whispers are required to unseat Death herself. #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


  • 15:17 When "satire" goes off the cliff and becomes an example of poor taste: Oddly, McCain supporters disagree. #
  • 18:34 @ephealy Have you looked into disqus? #
  • 00:15 Facebook apps taking on a life of their own may be precursor to the Singularity. Or, not. #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter

Monday, July 14, 2008


  • 22:39 What're your favorite songs to listen to while running/rollerblading/doing cardio of some sort? Looking to expand my active mix. Thanks! #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Risk Habitat to Seek Oil?

A perennial favorite of the current administration has been its practice to use any and every excuse to open ecologically sensitive areas to oil exploration. Since I've kept a blog for several years, I've discussed the various pretexts of the day in previous years, here, and again here.

And now, of course, Bush is pushing hard to open ANWR and other places for drilling, this time using an excuse that at least has surface plausibility: We need relief from crazy gas prices!

Of course, checking into this claim even the tinsiest bit reveals how little relief we could expect if we started drilling today, or indeed, if we had opened ANWR to drilling 7 years ago when Bush first proposed it.

Rather than reposting/updating entries from my old blog in a "From The Vault" entry, I thought I'd actually provide you an interesting crosspost from the blog of the Green Skeptic, who spends a lot more time following energy than I do these days, in a piece called: Energy: Drilling for Oil Offshore and in ANWR; Has the Time Come?

In this piece, the Green Skeptic takes a look at all the pressures to drill, and wonders, if perhaps it might be the thing to do after all. Why don't you give it a read and decide?
I'm wondering whether it may be time to reconsider drilling offshore, and to take a hard look at whether the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) can be developed for oil in an environmentally favorable way.

I'm not saying we should go ahead with either, but I do think we need to put both considerations on the table, put aside our emotions, look at the real impacts, weigh the options, and then decide.

There are several things we need to factor into our consideration:

1. Our dependence upon fossil fuels is not going away any time soon.

2. There are, according to some sources familiar with the situation, relatively abundant remaining sources of fossil fuels, offshore and on land. Most agree they will take too long to develop to have immediate impact, but they may extend the time-frame for alternatives to replace fossil fuels. And with prices what they are now, it's looking like now may be the time when these sources are actually viable.

3. It is not known whether ANWR is a viable source; there is little baseline data with which to make such a call. Some say the oil industry may be betting on the fact that developing ANWR will allow the life of Alaska's pipeline to extend beyond 2030, and make it more viable to recover smaller pools throughout the region.

4. Developing ANWR is likely to have little impact on today's prices. In a report last May, the Department of Energy estimated that it will result in a reduction of only 75 cents a barrel.

5. A recent study by the federal government's Energy Information Administration projects, in the best-case scenario, developing ANWR will engender a price reduction of around $1.44/barrel by 2027.

The same study claims drilling off the coasts of the US won't affect prices until 2030, as reported in the New York Times.

6. Global consumption of oil reached 85.2 million barrels a day in 2008, up from last year's 76.3 million. Another study, to be released this fall by the International Energy Agency (IEA), projects consumption will rise to 116 million barrels next year.

7. New techniques, such as directional drilling will continue to reduce the footprint per well-head on Alaska's North Slope, but there remains the issue of roads, housing, pipelines, and other facilities needed to bring the oil to market.

Those impacts could still be huge in ANWR, which is used by polar bears, caribou, and other animals as they search for places to give birth. (Birth is the most vulnerable stage in the life-cycle of some species.) Other biologists familiar with the area claim the stated impacts may be overdone.

As for the coasts, there are worthy concerns about impacts on human coastal communities, especially those that rely on fishing or tourism for their livelihoods. Our neighbors to the north and south have increased their off-shore development over the past decade with little or marginal impact on the environment.

8. New off-shore development will also take years to put in place.

9. Finally, there is a shortage of deep water drill-ships for offshore development, which are currently booked for the next five years, and we may be looking at a long time horizon with very little short-term impact.

Still, impact is impact, and while we're looking at alternative energy development, perhaps we need to consider how we will meet demand for fossil fuels while alternatives build momentum.

High demand, low supply rules the day. But if the benefits of off-shore and ANWR development are a long way off, is it worth the risk? Can we do without it? What if it can be demonstrated that the environmental impacts are negligible? What if, as Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska announced last week, we could put revenues in service of alternative energy projects?

I am not advocating a position for or against such development; I'm simply calling for a rational, emotion-free analysis before we move forward or rule it out.

Hmmm... still seems like far too little return in exchange for the potential to destroy yet more ecological preserves. But, I'm biased. I personally want to stack the odds in favor of humans surviving into the next millennia, as opposed to maximizing odds we won't have another depression in the next decade.


  • 15:35 Caught up on my writing, trained to exhaustion, the day pretty much to myself. Now what? Housework, reading, shopping, and XBOX square off! #
  • 16:01 Nope, I don't have an iPhone, or even a cell phone. But, come year's end, I intend to remedy both these deficits! #
  • 17:31 Oh crap, I think I forget to attend an event I RSVPd... #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter

Saturday, July 12, 2008


  • 11:48 With everyone else talking about the 3G iPhone, I feel like I should, too. #
  • 11:52 Bush to Earth's leaders: 'Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter." He then punched the air while grinning. No joke: #
  • 12:02 Sad how media is portraying telecom immunity as a 'win' for Bush or a 'loss' for Dems; It is a 'loss' for the constitution and the republic! #
  • 13:49 Time to pull another entry from the old blog to the new, on how opening ANWR to drilling helps NO ONE but oil interests. Big Lie, take 5. #
  • 17:35 Enjoying a surfeit of benign fortune, is it human nature to dwell on what is still denied? I guess it depends on what that thing is. #
  • 19:44 A lot of us hoped [...] there would be light at the end of the tunnel. [But now] the only light at the end of the tunnel is a train coming. #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter

Friday, July 11, 2008


  • 10:21 Brain chemicals stagger into motion. Mood elevates over period of twenty minutes as sleep's tangles fade. Day is looking up! #
  • 12:46 For the love of all that's right, enshrining telecom immunity for past warrantless wiretapping as law is a terrible, terrible thing. #
  • 13:40 Elder Evils got a couple ENnies nods, yay! (I outlined this book, though Scwalb of course provided all the fantastic content). #
  • 23:49 I'm continually amazed by the wit and brilliance of other people I know. #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter

Thursday, July 10, 2008


  • 17:14 Last bits and pieces are cleared from my plate, allowing me to focus my full attention for the next 3 hours on my epic adventure! #
  • 18:54 Literally save a life if you live near me. Foster a cat from KC Animal Care & Control to help them expand their walls: #
  • 00:54 1 hour of Muay Thai, 2 of jujutsu today. Accelerade made a world of difference! At the very least, psychologically, but perhaps actually! #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

This and That

  • 16:37 Writing on spec is an entirely different kettle of fish than writing to spec. The latter is apparently quite difficult to pull off. #
  • 23:00 It may be time to stop cutting your own hair when a mentally handicapped person points at you and wonders "What's wrong with that guy?" #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter

Monday, July 7, 2008

This and That

  • 16:37 Writing on spec is an entirely different kettle of fish than writing to spec. The latter is apparently quite difficult to pull off. #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Progress To Date

I am making progress on Book 2 of the Abolethic Sovereignty trilogy. Book One, Plague of Spells, is due out this November. The second book is due out next October, in 2009.

I'm a little more than a third of the way through Book Two. My first draft is due November 1. Assuming I can keep my hand in the pie every day, so to speak, scribbling 500 words here and 500 words there, I should be home free.

Just to be on the safe side, though, I took two weeks off from Wizards at the end of October to make sure I have 10 completely free days to devote to writing. Better safe than sorry.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
32,000 / 90,000

This and That

  • 13:50 Her eyes rested on the empty chair across the kitchen table. Her hands clutched a white coffee mug, and her mouth was grim with sorrow. #
  • 14:17 Obama rally live: #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter

Friday, July 4, 2008

From the Vault: No Kill Animal Shelters

[updated from my old blog; more relevant than ever]

You've probably heard about no-kill animal shelters, as opposed to shelters that euthanize animals. It seems pretty cut and dried--you probably prefer the idea of no-kill animal shelters.

But consider the following subtleties that you might not be aware of.

Open admission shelters take all animals, no matter their state of health, their temperament, their age, or any other factor.

On the other hand, no-kill shelters only accept highly adoptable animals, and when they're full, they don't accept any animals.

Which means people attempting to relinquish pets or strays at these places are sometimes turned away.

What do you suppose happens to stray animals turned away from "no kill" animal shelters?

Well, I guess if they're lucky, the folks who brought them in to the shelter keep looking until they find another shelter with open admission. If the animals are not so lucky, they are simply let loose again (which means starvation, being hit on a highway, or any of a number of ends that could include undue suffering). No-kill shelters know full well (or they should know full well) that when they refuse to take an animal, they've sidestepped responsibility. Despite their "no kill" status, they may even give out names and locations to the open admission shelters.

For example, the Humane Society in Bellevue has adopted political expediency and a "no kill" outward-looking face. So, when a terrier with a rough-looking demeanor showed up at their door as a stray a few weeks ago, the Humane Society refused to take the dog. Which meant the people who found him made the trek down to King County Animal Care and Control and turned the terrier over there. One of the shelter staff members, wondering if the dog were perhaps merely scared, took the dog home for a week to care for it. A dog the "no kill" Humane Society closed its doors to, kissing its fate up anyone else but itself. [At the time of this writing, I don't yet know the terrier's final outcome.]

So who has the higher 'moral' ground here? Those who pass the buck, or those willing, if necessary, to humanely euthanize an animal that has no prospect for adoption because of health or temperament? Or, in the case of the terrier I noted above, give a questionable animal a second chance?

Of course, all animal shelters have a role. Some no-kill shelters simply don't have the financial resources to employ a veterinarian to treat sick animals, so rather than take any chances, they turn all such animals away. And that's understandable--many of these shelters operate on a very small budget. They do what they can.

However, if animals slip into a no-kill shelter who turn out not to be adoptable, those animals are sometimes "warehoused," which basically means the animal is kept in a kennel or cubby so long that health and temperament slip to the point can justify euthanasia (yes, even at the "no kill" shelter). More considerate "no kill" shelters send these animals to open admission shelters (allowing them to hold on to their "no kill" status despite passing direct responsibility for the animal; at least it's the ethical thing to do).

BUT, a quality open admission shelter [which is no longer the Humane Society for Seattle/King County, I'm sad to say; now it's "no-kill" see here] might have programs, policies, and services in place to make certain every animal surrendered has the absolute best chance for finding its forever home--the Humane Society once had an 80% adoption rate! Its rate is skewed now, because of its new selective intake procedures.

So, to sum-up--"no kill" shelters are merely side-stepping responsibility, rightly or wrongly. I believe wrongly, especially the "no kill" shelters that take every opportunity to denigrate open admission shelters, and for shelters that have the resources to be open admission but choose to jump on the political bandwagon for the sake of public naivete, but at a real cost to stray pets.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

This and That

  • 14:00 Trying to not let all the toys on internet distract me from writing. Failing. #
  • 23:06 It was old when Selûne cried her glittering tears. When it fell into slumber, the world yet rang with the primordials' forge hammers. #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

So many toys, so little time

I think I need to swear off the internet.

Or maybe just swear off twitter, Facebook, and about 3/4ths of the various RSS news feeds and podcasts I subscribe to. There is just not enough time for me to stay current on all the content out there that interests me, especially if I want to continue to read, write, and pursue side projects from time to time.

But there's more to it than just those services. The internet and all its jewel-like wonders sing to me a song of desire I can hardly ignore. In fact, my profession requires I pay attention to it! To succeed at both my day job and freelance job, I need to use a computer to write a certain number of words per day; longhand is too slow and has to be transcribed to boot. And just as important, I need to research various things I write about on the internet.

Which means that even when I am able to cull the demon internet from my attention for a whole hour, I'm right back on those greased rails looking up castle ramparts on Wikipedia, what rhymes with Faustian on rhymer, synonyms for observer on thesaurus, interesting names for villains on rarewords, or any of a hundred thousand different interesting sites that'll pull me out of the original reason I logged back on faster than a hummingbird's wings pulsate.

Yep. You and I both know I won't be swearing off the internet. So I guess I'll simply have to face facts, and learn moderation. I do the same every day for eating; looks like I may have to treat internet access the same way.

This and That

  • 23:35 A 4 day virus begins to release its tendrils on my mind and body. Or is it the 2 glasses of merlot? Either way, mood trending upward. #
Crossposted by LoudTwitter