Sunday, December 11, 2011

My next commuter car

What I'd like for the vehicle that replaces my '97 Toyota:
  • Electric, with a range of 200 miles between charging.
  • A really good sound system
  • Built-in vacuum cleaning, like are in some houses, or a car-Roomba, to clean up the toast crumbs.  
  • Good visibility
  • Rear windshield wiper
  • Good in snow and on ice
  • Why not a front-windshield defroster?  Wires can retract, fold away, or be invisible.  Or wireless defrosting beams from around the windshield.
  • I want it to teach me French and Spanish while I drive to & from work
  • Ability to download podcasts to my car
  • Variable-width cup holders. 
  • Easily changed windshield wipers
  • Voice-activated intelligent GPS
  • Voice-activated cellphone interface
  • Polarizing windshield with intelligent sun-blocking (shade intersection of line of sight to sun at windshield) with touch override.  Okay, maybe for the car after.
  • How about at least the ability to toggle a shade-spot on the windshield by touching where you want the extra shady spot (or to clear it, of course)?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Today she's eight. World, just wait.

On Monday, school was canceled because of the widespread power outages.  At 6:30 a.m., our house is in its 26th hour without electricity.  I have to wake up to go to work.  I light a candle to find my clothes. 

Rafi hops out of bed.  Her sister is asleep.  Her father, having been up half the night feeding the wood stove, is snoring. 

On ordinary school mornings it is a chore to drag her out of bed by 7:35.   She has only caught the 7:45 bus that stops in front of our house once since September.  What is she going to do with no electricity?  Wait for the sun to get brighter then read a book.  Maybe practice her ukulele.  I can only hope.

I give her cereal for breakfast, with milk we've been keeping in a bucket of snow.

Isn't it strange, she says, how I always wake up when I don't have to wake up.  When I do have to wake up, I never can.

Uh huh, I agree. 

I wonder why I'm not more sleepy, she says.  Then she grins, for she has figured out an explanation: 
It must be that I get lots of rest on days when I'm supposed to wake up, so that I don't need the sleep now.

Monday, October 24, 2011

under the influence

Watched Julie and Julia Saturday afternoon.  Noticed we were low on bread.  Prepared whole wheat bread dough in what must be the first time in a long time, as the whole wheat flour seemed old.   The kids helped knead the dough and form it into rolls.

Since that bread  wouldn't be ready for supper, I also  baked quick beer bread to go under the Welsh Rabbit.  The kids don't like Welsh Rabbit, so I also cooked spaghetti. After supper I remembered the kids needed a snack for Sunday school.  I'd forgotten to buy popcorn on the last grocery-trip, so made fluff-krispie squares with cinnamon and chocolate chips.

Sunday, grocery shopping, the on-sale fish was cod and haddock.  It looked better made into chowder, so bought red potatoes to chowderize it, then baked corn bread on the side.  We all love corn bread.

Now, at work, I'm finishing my lunch:  Welsh Rabbit on broccoli, corn bread, and beer bread, with chowder and whole wheat roll on the side.  Very nice.  The time spent cooking and baking wasn't wasted, although there were a lot of other things I wanted to accomplish this weekend.  What's a good movie for getting other things done?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I am very sad Steve Jobs died

He created beauty and improved our world.

Friday, September 30, 2011

sacks for the tablet interface

Instead of user accounts to organize a tablet interface (as I mentioned in May)  it might be good if, when I turned on my iPad, I saw an icon of a sack, labelled "Margie's", and there'd be other sacks for the other people using the iPad.  The same app could be in several sacks.  The apps we most often use could still be splayed out, or in their "most often used" sack.

There should be a way to tell the iPad to put all the music stuff in a Music Sack, and, more specifically, to put all the ukulele apps in an Uke Sack.  All the kids' games should be in a sack, instead of cluttering up my view.  All the News Readers (Huffington, NYT, ABC, etc) should find their own sack for when I want to read a magazine or check the news.  Apps are very easily categorized, and they should be thus self-organizing.

My kids have downloaded a lot of games and I am tired of sifting through them all to find my stuff.  It is awkward to drag things to the bottom and then pull them out on the screen where I want them.  Just let the iPad organize this for me.  Why can't it?

As for email, if the user sack most recently opened was "Margie's sack", it would be nice, when I click on email, to get one of my email accounts, instead of Zoe's.  And vice-versa for "Zoe's sack".  Although, as her mom, it is good that I can read her mail.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A New Paradigm for Business: Company Showrooms replace Retail Stores

People are already behaving that way: They examine the product in a retail store, then go home and find the best price online.  Retail stores are going out of business as a result.

We like to see and touch many things before making a purchase decision.  To fill this niche, large manufacturers will create showrooms, like the Apple Store, to display their products.  Smaller manufacturers will pay to have their products displayed in new Showroom companies that will spring up to provide this service.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

using ground turkey for spaghetti & meatballs

  • preference: I've grown less used to beef, since I haven't been eating it as often.  
  • economic:  Ground Empire Turkey, $3.99/lb at Trader Joe's, vs $6.50/lb for beef when they have it.  
  • Health: turkey's less bad for you anyway.
The fear was that ground turkey wouldn't taste enough like "real" meatballs to go with red sauce.  I think it turned out better, in a way, since it didn't have as much of the excess grease that beef burger produces.  

Spices to make the turkey more beefy:
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • tamari
  • ground sage
  • ground bayleaf
  • coriander
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • ground peper
  • Ro insists on cumin, so I added a bit
  • egg to bind it
  • next time, I'll try potato flakes too.  Ro says he's been adding it to the turkey burgers.
Previously, meatballs turned into meat sauce.  Yesterday, I learned to have enough frying-pan surface to allow each to cook on the bottom and be turned before it can stick to its neighbor and be merged.

The sauce: sauteed red onion, rosemary, celery, garlic clove, zuchinni, in olive oil then added meatballs as I formed them.  Moved the meatballs to the auxiliary frying pan before dumping in a can of tomato paste and 2-3 cans of water.  After the water stirred in to a good sauce consistency, I put the meatballs back in.  Then added a few sprigs of chopped frozen broccoli and some frozen spinach to give it more green.

Served on top of whole wheat spaghetti.  Thought red wine would go with it.  Looked in Christmas-present crate from Gonzalo and Lisa.  Chose THE VELVET DEVIL MERLOT 2009 WASHINGTON STATE.  All caps on the label, so here too.  I liked it quite a lot.  The first Merlot I've liked.  Screw-top cap.  Fun.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

quote from Slate: 3 Golden Rules for Book Review

from How Not To Write a Book Review, By Robert Pinsky, on Slate:

1. The review must tell what the book is about.
2. The review must tell what the book's author says about that thing the book is about.
3. The review must tell what the reviewer thinks about what the book's author says about that thing the book is about.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

readercon links

quick summary:

still waiting for my food pills, transcript posted by the author.  I wasn't impressed by the spheres in apple juice.  The caramel stuff was O.K. Very interesting introduction to Post-Modern Cuisine.  I was hoping for something on how compact foodstuff can be created for space travel etc.

Youtube link of Howard Waldrop reading near midnight Saturday, after Poland.  He was having trouble with his eyes.  Read part of a scary Hansel & Gretl en route to what seemed like an Auschwitz analog.  Then read complete "The Bravest Girl I Ever Knew" a fake Hollywood memoir about King Kong actress. (I was very sleepy, but I'd heard such raves about HW, I stuck it out... I kept thinking 1) it was almost over 2) it would have a point.)

Another youtube link of Samuel R. Delany Interviews Katherine MacLean.  Watch Spencer fix the microphones because I forgot to.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Joan Slonczewski's syllabus for course on Biology and Science Fiction

  1. Evolution
    1. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
    2. Galápagos, by Kurt Vonnegut
  2. Ecology 
    1. Dune, by Frank Herbert
    2. A Door into Ocean, by Joan Slonczewski
  3. Genetics and Molecular Biology
    1. Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton
    2. Brain Plague, by Joan Slonczewski
(From Saturday evening Readercon panel on Science Fiction for Today's Undergraduate)

Random quotes from Readercon panels

At Saturday morning panel on Book Inflation:
Unlike other people, when I get to the end of a book, I quit writing.  (Howard Waldrop)

At Saturday evening panel on Science Fiction for Today's Undergraduate:
Paradoxically, Science Fiction is very much a dialog with its time.

At Saturday evening panel on The One Right Form of a Story:
I always think a lot about serious literary stuff, but I know that no one will ever know that I'm thinking about it.  (Judith Berman)

You can't write the story until you know the thang. 
(Judith Berman, quoting Howard Waldrop)

No two people have the same process. Learn what your process is.  (Judith Berman, possibly quoting Delaney's On Writing.)

At Sunday afternoon panel, Effing the Ineffable: Writers Who Think Cinematically:
I have lots of things to say that are ill-informed. (Maria Dahvana Headley, introducing herself.)

notes from Readercon talk/demo: Walking Through Mayhem, led by Madeleine Robins

Two lists of questions:

  1. Who is fighting?
  2. Where are they? What is the terrain?
  3. What is the desired outcome?
  1. What is the reason for the fight?
  2. How serious is it? (e.g. Laertes & Hamlet vs Catherine & Petruchio)
In stage combat, the fight is divided into phases (x hits y on left shoulder, y parries,..), and there are 5 basic targets, numbered (left hip, right hip, left shoulder, right shoulder, head..)

  • Balance the panic factor ("I could die!!") with pain ("Ow!")
  • Think about where someone winds up--reels back, turns.
  • If your character is afraid of dying, he will fight dirty
  • Write out all the actions, then edit it down, replacing actions with sensory observations (e.g. bad breath, sweat, pain, cold..) and interior monologue.
  • Be realistic about effects of violence
    • concussion->vomiting, then can't think straight for days
    • after a muscle bruise, fencer won't be able to lift sword
    • it's hard to pull a knife out of a muscle
    • Only the young have the energy and stupidity to not notice how uncomfortable they are.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Wanna compete with Apple? Stop copying the iPad.

The iPad is nice, but--at least for me--it never feels like that smooth and beautiful experience I see on the TV commercials.  It's hard to use it without wishing for improvements.  How about:
  • Add hierarchical or other better means of organizing apps, instead of having them all on pages and pages
  • Let there be different user accounts for email and selections of favorite apps.  I don't need security between them, but a quick way to say which user you are and then see a different set of app screens and books and email accounts would be useful.  Even if a single user wants to organize himself into several virtual users--e.g. My Business Self, My Fiction Self, My Art Self, My Fashion Self...
  • Include a stylus.  It's really hard to do fine-detail drawing or pointing (e.g. selecting that space between letters to fix a typo) without one.
  • How about a shape that's easier to grasp?
  • How about a tablet that comes with the protective cover?
  • Do some usability studies.  See what confuses people in the interface.
  • Improve touch-typing on the screen.  

Monday, April 25, 2011

obvious need for a klutz-proof phone

My Sony Ericsson was stepped on (we think), which broke the screen, so I was looking through AT&T choices for a replacement.  I was seriously considering a refurbished Rugby phone, which was the only "rugged" option in the free category.  Looking through the user reviews, there were a lot of complaints about the "Push To Talk" button being in the way so that users were hitting it inadvertently all the time.  It was notable that, in nearly all the reviews, nobody wanted the Push to Talk feature.  The phone was designed for job sites, construction workers in a team, that sort of thing, where Push To Talk would be useful.  But many people were buying it because, just like me, they wanted something less likely to break.  (I also liked that reviewers said it was very loud and easy to hear through background noise.  I could never hear my Ericsson sufficiently without putting it on speaker.)

There is a definite need for a rugged phone for individual users.  One with a good volume control.  One where you won't inadvertently connect to the Internet and be charged for it.  Why is this not among the current choices?

The other thing that annoyed me was the lack of protection for the camera lenses. My old Ericson's lens was covered when the phone number pad was slid closed.   All of the 2 MPixel and above camera lenses on cell phones that I saw in the AT&T store are exposed.  There was one 1.3 MPixel camera phone that did protect its lens.  Kind of ridiculous.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Bridegroom magazine

Of course it wouldn't be called that.  A better name would be Ready.  And, yes, a lot of men would not subscribe to it.  But a lot of women would buy their men gift-subscriptions.  It could have some low-key articles about wedding planning.  And also articles on:
  • Guide to Formal Attire for guys who've worn jeans all their lives
  • Honeymoon Options - Travel Section
  • Honeymoon Techniques
  • Financial Planning
  • Recommendations for merging finances
  • Should you have a Pre-Nup?
  • Guide to buying Life Insurance
  • Guide to buying Houses
  • Guide to buying Condos
  • Guide to buying Condoms
  • Guide to buying Lingerie (with helpful photos)
  • Engagement Rings - Alternatives to the Diamond
  • The Six Things Every Couple Should Agree On Before Saying 'I do'
  • Reasons to delay having children
  • Ways to keep the romance when you can't delay having children 
  • Preparing to be a stepfather
  • Negotiating between your children and your future wife
  • How Girlfriends Change When They Became Wives 
  • Bachelor Parties - Stories and Advice
  • When to Speak Up, When to Shut Up - Survival Guide to Wedding Planning and Beyond lots of amusing anecdotes sent in by readers.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    The previous great idea for an invention

    was a plastic mat shaped into a grid of lenses that you could lay down on top of an icy driveway or path.  The lenses would focus sunlight to melt lots of holes in the ice.  It would just take some knowledge of optics and plastics manufacturing to make this cheap and durable.

    Another great idea for an invention

    Is a napkin that fits over your sleeve, so you can wipe your face with your forearm, as is so natural to do.  It would be great on picnics, or at those stand-and-eat parties where your hands are already full.  I would love to see them introduced at a formal dinner party too.  Wouldn't that be splendid?

    Zubie says this is fact an old invention--the accountant's sleeve, used to keep ink off the pen-and-ink writer's actual sleeves.  I say we can bring this back into the 21st century, and into our table manners.

    Get out your sewing machines!

    Friday, February 04, 2011

    sf from cons - reply to tweet message

    @pargery I'm so far behind in sci-fi. What do you recommend?

    I’ve been too caught up in my own stuff to read a lot, but I guess Charles Stross is the current Gibson/Sterling heir. His Halting State is a mystery about stolen virtual money that I would like to take out of the library again to finish.  He was an engaging and amusing speaker at Readercon panels.

    I did finish The New Moon's Arms by Nalo Hopkinson whose main character’s hot flashes were paranormal events.  Somehow I found it a more compelling narrative.  She was also very sweet in person (at a Readercon “kaffeeklatch”.)

    People do mention Scalzi. I read the first two of his books. There's an interesting alien race that seems to have war-making as a religion, not like Klingon-honor-code, but like, they want to spread the gospel of Really Bad War of the total annihilation variety. I'm curious if he develops them more in later novels. I enjoyed his blog post about borrowing an Oscar.

    I read Elaine Isaak's trilogy because I kept seeing her at conventions, and she lives one town over from me. They're fantasy of the kings and pseudo-middle-ages variety, not sf. For some reason she denied her work was a trilogy, but when I read it out of order, the story really suffered. It was otherwise likable and sufficiently new.

    And I keep seeing Jennifer Pelland too. I liked the story I heard at her reading a few years back.

    some links to stories

    Wednesday, February 02, 2011

    27January2011 cellphone photos...

    Fire inspection finally done, we light the wood stove.
     From the kitchen window

    (For today's photos, see facebook album.)

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011


    Click here to view these pictures larger

    Arisia Workshop on Writing The Other, led by Nisi Shawl (notes)

    f Shawl presents “Writing the Other”. In this workshop, Nisi will present a hands-on writing class featuring exercises and explorations of ways to create believable characters of a different race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or ability. Participants will be asked to bring some of their own writing to work on, but sharing is not required. Expect to spend three hours learning by doing.

    First a discussion on defining differences: e.g. weight, race, bisexual, also a reader, a person who uses big words, disability issues, fibromyalgia

    Difference is not monolithic.
    For people in the dominant paradigm, you need an instruction manual for everyone else's differences.
    How you are made to feel different: height, weight, age55, W.African religion

    "dominant paradigm"=group with power, generic person, neutral, "unmarked state"
    ROAARS = acronym for Religion Orientation(sexual) Age Ablity Race Sex(as in gender)
    Differences that appear in US and Canada marked as important
    ROAARS doesn't include economic status / Class
    group promise
    REPTILE brain function
    If you have a personal fail, just acknowledge and own it.  We're all afraid of being labelled a bigot.
    The primitive part of the brain needs dichotomy. stay/run good/bad - oversimplify reactions w/ others
    brain scientist (Vicka Corey):
    "reptile" is really deep structure, not educable, preprogrammed, weed out own species from others.
    As social people we develop out to the cortex.
    Personal interactions vs institutional.
    What would we consider the Dominant Paradigm or
    young, 30's adult white straight abl bodied christian protestant male medium build no facial hair
    If you tell a story about man who fell in the river. Then people's picture of the man is of the unmarked state.  If the man turns out to be black and gay then it transforms from being about a man who falls into a river into a  story about a black homosexual who fell in the river, and people may ask why did you make him black or gay.  They could complain that he's "black for no reason."
    Descriptions of black people in novels, someone brought up Starship Troopers where the main character (Filipino for no reason?) looks in the mirror and notes his curly hair.
    Nisi says, "My hair is not curly, it's kinky"

    Pick a celebrity of any political/ethnic, like Lindsey Lohan. Now pretend you're the chosen one and you're meeting someone very different in the ROAAR, such as a homeless person.
    Here Margie blanks out on all famous people and attributes it to having had less than 6 hours of sleep per night since the previous Wednesday.  I type nothing for about two minutes while everyone scribbles or types around me.  Blink.
    OK, I'm Barack Obama and I'm meeting a homeless person.  I'd probably be relying on my background in community organizing and recommend some resources.  
    That's getting no where.  How about that guy parodied on SNL, running for Mayor now, what's his name?  I can't believe I can't think of... So sleepy.
    I'm the ex chief of staff. 
    I'm Harison Ford, I used to be a carpenter.
    4 minutes are up.
    Nisi asks:  Was one of the people closer to the unmarked state or not?
    POV a lot like you?  Then did character have same view as you?

    Someone reads a funny internal monologue of Snooky's view of a librarian.

    New term:  PARALLAX
    Similar to meaning of sighting stars from different points on the earth or how 3-d vision works with two eyes, different views.
    Compare the views to pinpoint where object actually is.
    Person of marked state's view of unmarked state.
    People don't wake up in the morning and say, "Wow, I'm black today."
    (Some remark about how adolescents sometimes do.)
    XKCD web comic. view of color. what colors men see vs women.
    Men tends to describe things less in terms of color.
    She drew up in a '67 mustang vs a light blue sedan
    Andy asks, Why do I need to know the color of this person's sweater?
    Men may be more fixated on the size, dimension of things than women are.

    Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler is a wonderful example of parallax. Is she an Alien? Late 19th century West. Woman sees her as suffragette. Chinese railworker describes her skin in terms of particular porcelin and asumes she's prostitute because she's ugly.

    Exercise #2:
    Pair off and write dialogue with each other.
    everyone gets 2 card with characteristics.
    I found something you lost with your phone number.  A calendar.  Do you need this back?
    work out logistics of where you'd go to get it back.
    8 minutes. (my card said I was a DJ with Alzheimers.  My partner's said she was a polyamorous man dodging child support.)

    - Hello, hello?
    -- Hi.  I was at Oak Park today, and I found something of yours.  A calendar?
    - Huh?
    -- You lost a calendar?
    -Who is this?
    -- Look, I found something of yours--uh, your name's Sarah?  It's a calendar with a bunch of numbers and names on it.  Looks like you have a lot of female friends.
    - My friends?  Why?  You have my calendar?  My gosh, I need that back.  Why are you talking about my friends?
    -- Oh, no reason.
    -Why won't you tell me your name?
    -- It's Joey.  Well, look, I can meet you somewhere to return your calendar.  Maybe at a bar?
    -Oh, no.  I don't drink, very much, any more.  Could you come by the station?  I work at WKIZ.  The address is in the front of the calendar.  You could leave it with the receptionist.  She's very nice.  Pretty too.
    -- Yeah, sure, that works.  You'll be there?  I'd like to return it to you, you know, personally.
    - Yes.  I'm here now.  My shift ends at...  I'm sorry, who is this again?

    ------------------- pro is a good website for neo writers (major workshop or sales)
    What happened in workshop:
    J Peland: struggle to bring up characteristics
    My characteristics were bald and moslem.  It is hard to tell on the phone that someone is bald.
    Brian Gardner: worrying about trying too hard with stereotype. Rural teen.
    Julia Ross: I had Filipino English as 2nd language.  I know nothing about Filipino.

    Andy: what's on card doesn't work itself into dialog per se but it colors the conversation.

    Nisi: what people say may be reflecting what they think you are more than what they are.
    Nisi: Going on from there.. I also wanted to talk about Categorical Thinking and the idea of Generalizing.
    Vary: How Generalization helps and not. It is a 3-edged sword. Can be helpful. e.g. use more color names. Every man isn't like the generalized one. Need to know specifics of character. Raised by women who discuss color naming. (Denisov as a decorator should be more color-describing. W/ interst in art history, reference to famous paintings.)
    Trying to apply a characteristic across the board. Hairless cats. Sphinx, disease, shaved, kitten.
    How categories people use reveal their social structure. e.g. Fool's War by Vera? Patel? Her categorization point out that most people have brown skin and no religion.  Character describes another as having skin of milk and strawberries.
    White Queen by Gwynyth Jones. colonization. alien talks about the idea of gender as astrological symbol-it's a parlor game. they are hermaphrodites, choose to be male/female as if it wer a cosmo quiz type.
    Greg Egan - future in which humans are not born in bodies. They are uploaded intelligences.  Uploaded into a Virtual Reality that mimics now? Or specialy-organized tiojns.
    Futures in which there is no race will still have categories.
    Most married people are straight etc.
    In science there's the issue of: data vs anecdote
    darkmatter book. all african-descended writers. not all characters are. some s. asian, ...
    Exercise #3:
    Finding differences and similarities:
    How 2 people in each picture are the same and How they are different.
    (Handing out magazine photos...)

    Both tough guys. Both have hats. Black Cop vs White Cowboy.
    Cowboy independent. Cop enforces and follows rules. State trooper.
    Horse/nature vs roads/cars/machines.
    Away from people vs interacting w/ people
    Both tough, disciplined, in good shape,
    Cowboy more physical work.
    Cowboy might just be guy on vacation in cowboy hat.  Trooper is definitely at work.  Or likes to dress up in costumes.  Like Village People.  So that in common: they both could be Village People.
    Cop looking down at me.  Authority. Confrontational.
    Cowboy looking down and away.  Contemplative.
    oops was doing it wrong.  was supposed to do all similarities followed by all differences.  or the other way.  Oh well.
    Cowboy looks peaceful, not troubled by others, looking at campfire, calm, untroubled, slightly hypnotized by flame perhaps, but not very.
    Cop looks like he has a problem with persons.  Trouble . Staring down trouble.
    Angle of photos very dramatic.  I'm looking down on cowboy from slight angle.  Cop looking down at me from very big angle.  Photographer must have been lying down in the road.

    Nisi: Our default may be to look for differences.
    With someone whose ROAARS are different you should certainly do [I wasn't paying attention. darn.]
    Nisi writng Loisa May Alcott type potboiler W.Indian planter's illegitimate daughter imprisoned by relative who wants her inheritance, work with CONGRUENCE.
    (e.g. Dowland: "love is love in beggars and in kings." [listen to Sting sing it..])
    She reads and loves big words like me.
    My intended audience also reads and have probably been in love.
    Similarity in being religious even if different religions.
    Find your similarity, analoguous experience to your character's.

    Varya: Kidnapped sex slave in SF poor uneducated Korean potato farmer.
    I haven't been sold in prostitution but I have been trapped in a horrible soul-sucking job.  She's compassionate to 3-legged bird and made things worse.  We can all relate to trying to help but making things work. Consulting with SME's help too.
    Nisi: A point of relation.  For your readers and for yourself to the charcters.

    Exercise #4 Congruence
    Do 1 of 2 things. Your choice.
    Mess with one scene in the writing you brought. Change at least one major ROAAR's characteristic to one that's different from my ROAAR, then they do something they love doing and I love too.
    Select something that already differs.
    OK, select a character with dffrent ROAARs or change if needed.
    I guess I just don't get it.  My characters are already doing what they do.  Some of the things they do I like.  They have sex.  I like that. Others, would it , wow, it just occurred to me the woman guard character feels instinctively more different from me than the man, main character Denisov.
    OK, if an old black gay man is bowling he's bowling.  How is that different?  Put him in a wheelchair and I can talk about physical differences.  Very old--the ball is heavy.  Once you bend down to roll the ball, it's hard to get up.
    Bowling brings back memories about being younger and bowling w/ friends now dead.
    Well, too late.  Exercise is over.
    Stafford changed his black ex-slave character to an Asian sheriff with different set of priorities.  Now can go back to original piece and no longer blind.  Can see views.  Parallax.  Similarities in not slaves but treated like slaves. Different set of problems.

    Vicka: hanged gender and didn't make much difference but characters tried to find a common ground.

    Jennifer P. had her profoundly disabled character dance. e.g. belly dancing.  only can use her arms. "I can't see how this looks but it feels so nice."  I never thought to make her dance before. Now an idea.

    10 minutes left:

    Andy: Animated TV show. characters can't grow. Need to start the same each episode.
    Nisi. Unintended resonances. Clarion West example. German surname guy was torturing kids in their basemt. Everyone assumed he was a Nazi.
    Run it by people and get feedback, as diverse a set of eyes on it as posible. Different ROAARS from yours. Some that match those of your characters. Hear about your mistakes. Consulting people familiar with the culture.  That does not give you a seal of approval bythe culture. e.g. "Approved by Koreans."
    One thing my Korean friend told me was that Korean women speak with their eyes. Widened, narrowed. Not so many smiles.
    A Hindu can't explain Budhist.
    Nisi: You should pay for expertise.
    1) Acknowledge any help you get.
    2) Ask what you can do in return

    Arisia Panel on Glassblowing techniques - 16JAN2011

    Well, I thought it would be good to have a netbook at Arisia so I could upload notes to a blog.  I didn't manage to get to many panels, but here are my notes on glassblowing.  Not edited.  The panelists hid their name tags, but I recognized Suford Lewis, so she's the only one quoted here by name.

    Mainly, I got the impression that glassblowing could get very painful.  Shards of broken glass endangering others.  Cuts and burns for the glassworker.  Expense. Always the danger of your piece blowing apart, cracking as it cooled.  Good for a violent-artistic temperment.  Also good for the geek, as Suford says near the end.  Chemist/Artist.

    There did seem to be a simple less expensive path, not involving kilns etc. The old fashioned kind I suppose I remember from childhood demonstrations.  I'm sorry I missed the lecture on Renaissance Glass given the day before (when I was wandering the hotel looking for Zoe who turned out to be camouflaged in a corner of FastTrack where I kept returning and not finding her...)

    Rough notes:

    hot method
    rebuilding furnace could take a month.
    crucible: bricks and castable material. could take up to a week?month? to get going again.
    natural gas, propane, newer electrical furnaces
    own studio vs sharing: let someone else maintain equipment So expensive to run. Not practical to have own. Also not 'green'.
    10 am to 10pm heavily utilized community studio.
    teaching facility.
    "renting studio time"
    glory hole = furnace in which you heat the glass
    friendliness generous
    We Fusers are smallest group (Suford Lewis) at edges of really popular techniques. kiln formed.
    $60 per hour NY vs $100 per month 10 year ago subsidized by state
    innovations driven by 'can you top this' more than any other craft fields.
    hot-head torch. $20 DeVardi - Imported Indian Glass. Sell soft glass gorgeos colors, $5/lb good to play with.. . 1 lb bottleof mat pro gas. $8/tank. spectrally correct safety goggles. metal sticks called mandrils. clay called beaded. marvels = graphite to play w/ . tungsten at craft store.
    cool down slowly with vermiculite in coffee can.
    Compatibility.  How many know about glass compatibility?  You can't take any cool looking glass, broken stuff etc.  Things need to expand or contract at same rate.
    COE=coefficient of expansion
    need to match or your stuff falls apart.
    For kiln work use 90 COE or 96 COE. Can't mix.
    With kiln work you do everything flat.  Then finaly last fireing is at lower temp, the slump, where falls into shape.
    people on e-bay sell you stuff w/ wrongly labelled COE. Find out when falls apart.
    Window glass is 72 COE. Cheap, good for practice pieces.
    Soda lime glass 96 COE for furnace work.
    goh josh melts his own blues & other colors but most people buy.
    whether piece survives has to do w/ shape and what you're making.
    solid paperweight more stable than something thin w/ different thicknesses.
    Annealing beads in vermiculite ok.
    Giraffes that are not continuous could be more difficult.
    Slow cool down is essential.  If temperature too different in different parts of piece, then changes size at different rates and crack.
    oxypropane torch and bar-silicate
    Test COE by fire bead where full-fuse between 2 glasses.  View w/ normal polarized sunglasses and view the microfractures.  Haze arond the
    Blow thin bubble with known and new glass.  If stable then same COE. If not then not. (pop or squish.)
    96 glass by Bullseye are consistent. "insane about " QA.  Their freely available from the website handbook 7-10 part PDF is very useful.  Section 5 is bible for fuser. Guideline.  YOU stil need to calibrate the kiln.
    kiln=annealing oven
    "We wind our own annealing coils."
    Suford: "I bought a used kiln." full sized 28" diameter kiln. I started w/ published recipes.  Things got overly melted or didn't go to full fuse. Spent ~ 4 months comparing pyrometer, what kiln was doing, until I developed recipes for my kiln that worked the wayI wanted it to.
    Kilns are long-lived and not fussy but each seem to... most important that temp the same all around.
    Ruth had flaky analog kiln that needed changing every 15 minutes. Partner built a digital controller for it.
    Question on WArm Combing techniques: Heating glass up enough to move. Glass in kiln, fuse, once reach liquid state...I don't want to spend $200 on a graphite comb.
    Suford: ONe of the joysof group studio is being able to buy such equipment. Fun to play w/ but didn'twork for my style. KIndof like a rake. Asbestos gloves. Going over bull fuse. Never take glass > 1750 F.  Fusing 1450-1550.  To do this techniqueyou ned 1650.  Manipulate colors on very soft fluid surface.  Hard since it is all glowing red at that superheated state.
    Lamp work. Glass blowing. Fusing.
    1) Goggles. Dihelium spectacles for lampwork. Emission spectra of heated
    2) If doing .. need goggles for different spectra.
    Some rely on peripheral vision, but very dangerous. Could lead to macular degeneration.  Also glass shatters and tiny shards fly all over the place.  Need goggles.
    Also, expect to get burned and cut.  If that freaks you out, don't touch the medium.
    Piece of red-hot glass shooting down your shirt.
    Salem State has semester class. Somerville open studio coming up, too.
    powdered stuff or enamel, need mask.
    If you're generating particulates, you should wear a respirator.
    powdered glass fusing onto metal substrate.  or directly onto hot glass.
    Brass will do sparky terrifying things, but embed it into glass and get cool 3-d effect, bubbles, amber color.
    Suford: be very careful incorporating non-glass into glass. Can fall apart.
    Mi: Cu is compatible. e.g. josh simpson's copper baskets into which he has blown glass.
    Won't work with iron. will crack.  Try google search.
    Zinc pennies in glass not good.  NOt good to heat Zinc anyway.  I know someone who encases them into paperweight, but the piece can explode. Also Zn is hazardous.
    Bathsheba Rosen with computer controlled 3-d files, astronomical,microbial, uses lasers to create microfractures inside glass block.
    Suford: similar technique w/ controlling glass bubbles in block.
    Deep depressions or even small, trapping little air as possible because it will expand.
    Then add another piece of glass on top to trap the bubble.
    Textured surfaces of some glass that is sold for trapping bubbles too.
    Roll hot glass in Baking soda, burn it off.
    Vase sample.
    Step 1: made a shiny vase.
    Step 2: masking material called buttercut. Drew oak leaves and laid oak leaf mask.  Used sander to edge away non-masked material.  Shiny leaves on rough background.
    This technique could be used with mirror or window glass.
    Photo-sensitive resist. Dry image. Scanned, photoshopped. Sandblast a photographic type image on your piece.
    There is also glass that will make a reddish or amber color when exposed.
    People etch beads or use copper painting for electoforming.  PUt painted copper with chunk of Cu in solution run electricity through and get Cu deposits. "electroplating gone mad." gnarly.
    Suford: Edgings, tack fuse.  Using color-metallic pens you can write w/ then fire.  Chemical etching. Jars of armarage(?)  Contrast of shiny texture andmat.
    Glass grinder - motor w/ spindle, wet setup-sponge touching edge of cyllinder.
    smooth the edges or contour just right.

    Bizarre extreme shapes or mosaic - get a glass bandsaw.  diamond. wet.
    $300/machine $100/replacement blade

    Blown glass piece.
    grinding wheel to grind mark off bottom. PUnte attachment.  She tries to make them beatiful so don't have to come off. She put an insulating button on this vase. tucked in.
    Josh Smpson glass downstairs is all ground and polished.
    Pointing - where when it melts a little flows into sharp point. Grind through and put into kiln again to smooth where polished.
    millini=millefiore like designs
    you build a rod so that when you cut disks out of it, each has the image. e.g. fractal ferns. LIke with fima-clay.  Or get a mandril=thin steel rod with ...
    It's cheaper to learn it in College.  e.g. MIT has faculty and staff glass-blowing classes.
    Suford: Glass is the most wonderful medium for someone who wants to do artistic expression but also wants to be geeky about it.