amethyst73: (Default)
To feel like an Average Joe, and be content:

(As it happens, I do feel I fall into this category if one substitutes cats for human children.)
amethyst73: (Default)
I have an online friend (through Librivox) who's dealing with cancer.  He writes regularly in his blog about the ups and downs, the doctors' visits, and all that, on a regular basis.  (He even posted some of the most salient CT scans one day.)  His entries are uniformly intelligent and thoughtful, and frequently humorous as well. 

I recommend to you his most recent post, about his night in the hospital as part of his second chemo treatment, and the music of the night that he heard there.  It's really something.  Thank you, icyjumbo, for writing it.
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About a year ago, Huz wrote an article which he submitted to Dr. Dobb's for publication.  It was accepted.... and then nothing happened.  A number of bug-the-editor events later, it's finally been published!  It's about how to avoid bug opportunities in programming, using Java as the example language, though none of what he writes is language-specific.  I can even follow most of what he's talking about, and I'm hardly a programmer!
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I have stuff that I want to write up in some serious detail, but I am way too busy to do so right now.  (And I've had other writing I have done/need to do: a brief reflection on a Biblical text for our church's Lenten meditation book, and something-or-other for a memory book that one of my paternal aunts is putting together for the other one, who turns 70 next month.)  So I'll just note here, in very brief form, the main points that I wish to make.

1.  Coraline the movie was really really good.  Coraline the book was also really really good.  The movie did some things differently from the book, but they all work surprisingly well (including the generation of an entirely new character).  But because there are some things in the book that didn't get into the movie (including my very favorite scene which, admittedly, would have been difficult to film), you should read the book as well as see the movie. 

2.  Sweeney Todd had his beginnings in a penny-dreadful serial called The String of Pearls that was recently recorded at Librivox and which we just finished listening to today.  The story is essentially a mystery - what's happening to the customers who enter Todd's barbershop and are never seen again?  The modern reader likely knows the answer already, of course, but that doesn't stop the original tale from being interesting, mildy horrifying, humorous (intentionally or otherwise, sometimes it's hard to tell), and at times even pretty well-written.  This recording is a collaborative effort, and there's a wide variety of styles and abilities of readers ranging from folks for whom English is not their first language to professionals.    The catalog page is linked above.
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Every once in a blue moon, I think it might be fun to be an honest-to-gosh game reviewer, like the great guys Matt and Mark over at  They get paid to play games, after all! 

No, I don't really  want their job; I'd lose satisfaction very quickly because it's very important to me to have the work that I perform be of real utility to someone.  Finding genes that are upregulated in cancer, studying the ethanol response pathway, generating sequence data that's going to be used by biologists all over the world, etc.  Playing and writing about video games, while often marvelously fun, don't really fall into the same kind of 'useful' category as the kinds of work I find myself doing.

But still.  These guys get hands-on previews of wonderful things like Twilight Princess and Metroid Prime: Corruption and Super Mario Galaxy, and, as noted in one of the articles I'm about to link to, they sometimes fight for the privilege of writing reviews for these fantastic games.

But for every SMGalaxy, some days it looks like there's about six games that manage to scrape up to an overall score of about 3/10 if they're very lucky.  Today, I believe, the wii.ign team had the unfortunate occasion to award two of the absolute lowest scores that I have ever seen in the section.  The lowest I'd seen before today was a 1.7...

Mini Desktop Racing: 1.2
Offroad Extreme Special Edition:  (warning, scatalogical terms used in review)

.. ready?

1.0.   Wow.

And both games got perfect zeroes in "Lasting appeal".  (In Mini Desktop, they even say that they played it only because they're paid to.)


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