Margaret Hamilton nowhere to be seen

If you want to know what last night was like in these parts, Google “obici tornado”.

The storm wasn’t bad for me. We got the alert around 4 here at NASA, but all I had to deal with on the drive home was some rain and a bit of wind on the bridge. Starr, on the other hand, stood in her hospital as a funnel came right for the building, tossing around cars in the parking lot and cracking some hospital windows with flying debris.

She had to stay at work a little late, in part because the road home was damaged and closed, but she finally made it home safe and sound, if a little stressed.

We are both fine, though kitty panicked a bit when it took Starr so long to come home. None of our friends have reported any serious difficulties either, for which we are most thankful.

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Brief updates

  • 08:14 Parking a block farther from the office building to make myself get more walking in. #
  • 08:44 We are role-playing a flame war on a discussion forum. “I cast Straw Man!” “I cast Ad Hominem!” #
  • 09:15 Three-week-old kitten having breakfast: #
  • 12:34 “Keep Track Of Equipment” poster has picture of Space Shuttle Main Engines. Are we misplacing those often? #

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Getting the hang of Tuesday

Rough start to the day.

Didn’t sleep well – under-hydrated, I think. 200 spam messages from last night in my inbox: the Russian spammers are trying some new tricks. I can’t even read most of the e-mails. More idiots driving 45 in the passing lane, then shifting right and doing 70 in the slow lane; and to top it off, my morning podcast glitched out halfway into the drive.

On the other hand, I was greeted again this morning by friendly ducks on the way out to my car. Last night was great, with pizza and WoW provided by Starr and a remarkably clean apartment she’d spent her “lazy day” scrubbing. And this morning I heard that my longtime partner-in-crime Tom Monaghan, one of the few Starfleeters to hold officer posts on USS Heimdal, Pathfinder, McKay, Yeager, and Ma’at, signed his first fiction book contract! Awesome!

So karma balances, and if the rain lets up at all I’ll get some more walking in today. Into the fray!

‘Twas caviar

This weekend was good. I got to chill a little bit, which I’d long needed. Had caviar for the first time ever; it tasted mostly of salt, and slightly fishy. I’ve heard it’s served on buttered toast, and I think that would improve it quite a bit.

I also tried the Lord of the Rings online role-playing game. The first thing I noticed is that it’s certainly prettier than WoW (and therefore needs more video processing power than, say, my desktop can handle). I enjoyed the Minstrel class I tried – there’s something entertaining about whipping out a lute in the middle of a melee and dealing damage with a few bars of a song.

But, when all’s said and done, I enjoy the slightly surrealistic graphics of WoW – they seem to fit with a world which has so many fantastic shorthands for everyday actions – and the LotR game takes itself fairly seriously, which also isn’t really what I’m here for. I might play it if there were a Mac version and no other competitors, but my subscription will stay with Blizzard for now.

This week’s Doctor Who episode brings the Series 4 average down to .667. Even discounting the goofy, thoughtless science – which is hard, since one element is a major plot point – there wasn’t much special about it. Donna was great; her emotional arc about the future of humanity and our ethics, and the conditions of the Ood provided a welcome touch of development.

But overall, the episode was fairly formulaic, including at least one completely gratuitous CGI death, and someone trying viciously to kill the Doctor for no reason at all. One touch I did like: minor spoiler

Brief updates

  • 12:56 Mirandala dinged 66. I know this is a matter of vital national importance. #
  • 13:06 Looking at the first few scenes of the unearthed Infocom Hitchhiker’s Guide sequel game: #

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Brief updates

  • 10:39 @gruber Perhaps, but I can’t forgive the first M:I movie for defamation of the good name of Jim Phelps. #

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Religion, on the other hand, is pushing it.

Hmm. I learned something from my last post that I wasn’t expecting to learn, which is of course more fun that way.

It seems that most of the people I know would put themselves somewhere between “Way of Life” and “A Nice Hobby” on the fandom scale, so apparently we do need another node for the 21st century.

Or do we? I think perhaps I should have stressed more that FIAWOL does not necessarily mean “shallow, pasty, anti-social nerd with nothing to look forward to in life but the next Stargate: Atlantis episode.” I answered FIAWOL for myself because fandom touches almost every part of my life, even when I’m not specifically geeking out. Just to name two examples, I got my first job in Hampton Roads because of miniatures gaming; and my significant others have all been fans, and we’ve had some good times because of it.

When you’ve got a closet of costumes, a vast library of genre media, at least three devices on which you play video games, have extensive convention staff (or even chair!) experience, and can put Chris Pike and Jon Archer in either chronological or created order… you might just be a Way-Of-Lifer. (I’m not referring to anyone specifically. If you thought I was referring to you… then that perhaps should tell you something.)

But really, you know, that’s okay. As long as the bills get paid, the bosses stay satisfied, friends and S.O.s get the attention they deserve, and we get out into the sunlight on occasion, FIAWOL is an entertaining way to spend the days.

EDIT: jdunson suggests that the “F” in each refers to an outdated type of fandom prevalent in the 60s and 80s, and that the fan culture most of us currently inhabit is a different beast completely. (I paraphrase heavily.) Interesting concept, and I believe I can see his point. Thoughts?

Brief updates

  • 10:18 Ouch. Had to pass on awesome con costume which didn’t fit my waist. I can no longer pretend that my spare tire doesn’t bother me. #

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Acronym Fandom

The other day, I read that someone had “GAFIAted”, and it reminded me of the old fandom lifestyle acronyms, including FIAWOL and FIJANH. For those not steeped in the lingo, a quick review:

FIAWOL represented the “Fandom Is A Way Of Life” faction, those who eat, drink, and breathe fannish activities (fanac). Not necessarily ‘the basement geek’ of easy comedy – many in this category lead fulfilling lives.

FIJANH acronymed “Fandom Is Just A Nice Hobby”, the folks who spend plenty of their leisure time doing things unrelated to the fan world. Some folks use coarser language than “Nice”, with different initials.

GAFIA is “Getting Away From It All” – leaving behind the drama, expenses, sleepless nights and other trials of the subculture for a quieter, more mundane life.

So where do you fall in this list? It’s a spectrum, not separate groups, but if you had to pick one banner or another, which one would it be?

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