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More edumacation

Wall-of-text post is finally up (behind the lifestyle filter) about my Saturday night panels. That was a bumpy ride, to be sure. But we had sandwiches!

Looks like the chances are good to be doing my schtick at MarsCon 2010 and SheVaCon 2010. I think I’m almost relieved that the NekoCon audience is probably far too jaded for such a thing.

On The Move

It’s been a heck of a week, and I haven’t had much opportunity to post. Let’s see if I can catch up a bit.

As of Wednesday evening, Starr and I began sleeping at the new house. This was slightly impeded by the fact that our bed hadn’t been moved yet, and Starr’s parents had returned for some of their stuff, so we had to share a twin bed in a guest bedroom. Note: no matter how cuddly the other person is, tucking two people into a twin bed gets old quickly.

I’m now getting up at 5:30 every morning to get out of the house by 6:30. My efficiency’s improved, as it was taking me up to 90 minutes to get showered, dressed, and moving, but it means I have exactly enough coherence to drive safely and not a bit more. The commute’s indeed an hour; thank goodness for podcasts.

Each day last week, I stopped by the apartment on the way home to grab some more stuff. Slowly, all the vital necessities of life have been put in place at the house, such as transforming Macross toys and Lensman paperbacks. By this weekend, I expect to have the silly stuff moved like cooking gear and clean underwear. (Okay, I *am* kidding about the underwear; that was high-priority.)

Starr’s parents left on Friday – or was it Thursday? – but returned once more on Saturday for more stuff, and so we could take her little sister to Nekocon. We only stayed for a few hours Saturday afternoon and evening; I had no idea that the con was so HUGE. 3,000 people were claimed in one press release, and it sure looked like it. I could not believe the number and variety of hall costumes! (Of course, I forgot a camera.) Starr dressed as a loligoth, while her sister wore an InuYasha costume. Many pictures of them were taken, but I have seen none posted; me, I was grumpy that morning, and didn’t wear a costume. By the end of the evening I regretted the decision, but oh well.

Tuesday, I had the day off, and I headed back over to the apartment to collect more stuff. Our downstairs neighbors are both military, and were also home; when they found out what I was up to, they instantly volunteered their two pickups, and pitched in on the packing. Thanks to them, we’re about 70% done with the move, and should be able to finish this weekend; I had reason to appreciate our veterans even more that day! They were awesome folks.

We’re switching the house from Verizon to Cox for our internet and phone, and were surprised to learn the the cable junction box is across the street. Shortly after we learned this, we learned that the underground line to our house is bad, and they’ll have to bore a new conduit for us this week. The cable, phone, and Internet at the apartment was disabled on Wednesday, so communications have been impaired. Right now my cell phone and work Internet are my main connections to the world.

Midori has been introduced to Tigger and Precious, two cats we’re inheriting from Starr’s parents. They seem to be more amused than anything else by her hissing and posturing, and she seems to be slowly understanding the uselessness of making all the fuss. With any luck, they’ll civilize her a bit.

This Saturday, I hope to have everything out of the apartment that isn’t tucked in my office. Sunday, I’ll pack all the little figures and toys and books and such I have on display in my office, and move that over, and at that point the actual move should be about done. We can then spend a week or so cleaning up the place nice before we hand over the keys.

Then… maybe… perhaps… a rest. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable reward!

Protected: I look less like Captain Harlock every year.

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The flooded dragon podcast planet of Freon

A year after having it loaned to me, I have finally picked up and read “Eldest” by Christopher Paolini. This book is the sequel to “Eragon”, which I found to be enjoyable, if lacking in originality. “Eldest” is more of the same; I’d suggest it to any reader I know, with the caveat that they shouldn’t expect anything mind-blowing. The writing is good, and the characters are interesting, which is more than many fantasy books can claim.

Still, one day I want to read a high fantasy novel where the elves are short-lived and highly industrial, if not technological. Perhaps the ancient lost civilization that left behind all the ruins and dungeons could be one of humans, or lizard men, or Things We Barely Understand instead of the freakin’ elves again. And hey, how about hippie, type B dwarves that live simple lives of farming and woodcarving? You get my drift, here?

We lived through Ernesto – our house was never in danger, though I did lose power halfway through my morning webcomic troll. Driving to work was a dumb idea – two different blocks were flooded, and when the tires stop making the “zzziiiisssshhh” noise and begin making the “blubble-blurble-splep-blobble” noise, the water’s too deep – but dumb luck saved me, and the drive home was a little better. The yard looks a bit battered, though.

The International Astronomers Union voted last week that Pluto isn’t a full planet, but a “dwarf planet”. They did this in part because Pluto’s moon, Charon, is almost the same size as Pluto and might have deserved planet status; and a more distant body in our solar system, “2003 UB313”, is even larger and might have been awarded the same privileges. “2003 UB313” has been nicknamed “Xena” by its discoverer, and no stuffy astronomers’ group is going to sit still for “Planet Xena”. (The nickname is unofficial, but may well stick.) (And yes, Xena has a satellite… Gabrielle.)

Pluto, Charon, Xena, and the asteroid Ceres all qualify for “dwarf planet” status under the IAU’s new rules. I say Pluto still deserves the love, and we all know what’s a planet and what’s an asteroid, whatever they say. Manned mission to Planet Xena!

Podcast recommendations of the day: Taverncast, for WoW players; not only is the material useful and interesting, but it’s presented in a very light-hearted, entertaining manner by the hosts. Also, Geek Counterpoint, for those with a science bent; much drier in tone, but still well-presented and interesting – my interest was caught by the episode on inflatable spacecraft. Seriously.

The Hyundai is very mad at me right now. The dash clock and stereo are cutting out intermittently (and separately), the a/c has stopped working (and with it, my defogger, which has made driving in the rain interesting), and my temperature gauge is running high. Given how much of the car is factory-sealed, that may mean a trip to the dealership. 🙁

I may finally attend a NekoCon this year, given that it’s right on my doorstep and all. Thinking about it.