May 16th, 2017

#5597: Simply no time for it

Motorcycle battery still on front porch, hooked to charger, which still reports "fully charged", because I haven't had any time to dick with it. It won't be today, either, I bet.

Gorgeous weather for riding too. Argh.

* * *

You have heard this old joke:
Patient: When the operation's over, will I be able to play the piano?
Doctor: Could you play the piano before?
Patient: No.
SNL people were so depressed after Hillary's loss, they were barely able to write comedy. Considering that even when they're at their best, they can barely write comedy, sounds like business as usual.

* * *

Joss Whedon should stick to making TV shows and STFU about politics.
...[I]t is a spectacular example of just how far the Leftist will go in his quest to make everything political. A mother who died 25 years ago is dragged into a political tweet about Trump on Mothers Day. This rationalization is like a final boss in the game of word salad. The pretzel-like intellectual hoops Joss must jump through to associate his dead mother with Donald Trump are truly staggering to observe.
Staggering, yes, but they make the observer more stupid in the process.

Proof that someone who is excellent in his own field is a complete noob once he steps outside it.

* * *

I can't say he's wrong. Lots of TV shows out there are critically acclaimed but they're usually boring horseshit.

My wife gets upset with me, periodically, for looking at my tablet or proofreading my manuscript while we're watching something. That's when I don't catch her doing something on her iPad while we're watching something. But lots of these shows, I can get away with it and still know what's going on because of the phenomenon mentioned in the linked post.

But I think the writer of the piece linked by the AoSHQ post doesn't understand that American Gods is emblematic of how TV is made these days. You start a series not knowing anything; certainly no time is spent on exposition telling you who is who, and why. Example: The Colony, which gives a very basic framework (aliens invaded, people now live under a totalitarian government) but otherwise tells us nothing about the world. We learn most of the information about the setting in flashback sequences, which are few and far between.

Okay, then there are shows like Timeless. Exposition is given once, often quickly enough that if you're not paying attention you miss it and don't know what's going on.

I don't find the pacing of American Gods slow. It's an interesting show, with interesting situations, and the dialogue is extremely well-written. I've got a fiver that says after two or three more eps things will pick up fast.

The nice thing about our modern world, though, is that if you don't like a show, you have other networks to choose from. It's not CBS-NBC-ABC-PBS any longer.

* * *

So the other day I added 11 pages to Apocalyptic Visions. It's currently sitting at 78,500 words, according to "properties" in OpenOffice, which is 78% of novel-length for a typical SF novel. I cannot tell the other two-thirds of the story in 21,500 words.

Well, opinions differ on how long a novel "ought" to be. 150,000 is probably an upper limit; $RELEASE_CANDIDATE_ONE comes in around 178,000 but it could probably benefit from a good editing. If we go with 150,000 words, then AV is half that size, about, and I might be able to pull it off in one volume.

Even so, I am starting to think this thing might end up being two novels, or even three, depending on how things go. Considering I already have a series, here, I don't want to do a series in a series if I can avoid it.

I may not be able to.

The thing is, this story is turning out to be a lot bigger than I originally anticipated it being. There are a lot of facets to the fall of a civilization. For crying out loud: the space war started on page 93; we're on 147 now and a ground war is kicking off. I didn't see that coming, but now that I'm actually writing the story it's taken on a life of its own and damn even though there's a cease-fire, now infantry has started fighting against infantry and the whole damn planet is about to go up.

And, curse me for a fool, it's FORESHADOWED! Elements I included in the story which didn't make any sense to me--and which I thought I might cut during rewrite--are just now falling into place (or are about to) as a group of agitators has shown up who incite combat between regional militias and the invading force! ("Regional militias" being the generic term for national armies, self-defense forces, and so forth.) Those agitators had to get their materiel from somewhere, and guess where? Well, 'way back on page seven is where I laid that groundwork! Without even knowing I was doing it!

Yes, writers are a peculiar bunch. I'm sorry.

* * *

Today's a ridiculously nice day. I need to work on cleaning; today, I am cleaning out the linen closet of all the linens we do not and will not ever use. They will be sorted by donatable and not donatable; then I am going into the spare bedroom and taking all the bedclothes from in there and putting them into the linen closet, after which I will attempt to further clean that room up. It needs doing, and I'm the one who can do it.

Wish me luck.

#5598: That's it, I need a break.

So, cleaning out the linen closet--

I had no idea there was so much crap in there. I sorted through the linens, checking for wear and stains, and ended up throwing away about 80% of them because they're shot. The remaining 20% looks like it's in donatable condition, so that's where that will go.

Then, the books.

Nearly all of them are getting donated. I'm not sure what to do with the yearbooks, though--Mom's and Dad's--because high school yearbooks from 1943-1947 (plus a couple of college yearbooks from later years) are mildly interesting to look at but utterly useless otherwise. There are exactly two people in those books with whom I have any kind of connection (guess who) but the rest of them are all strangers, and even the glimpse into the past afforded by old yearbooks is really not all that entertaining. Turns out American high school kids were approximately the same in 1945 as they are now, just with a hell of a lot less overt sex. (Cripes. A guy coming to school in girls' clothes, or coming out as gay, would've been expelled.) And you know, considering that today's public high schools are zoos rather than institutes of learning, I'm not convinced modern schools are better.

As for the yearbooks, I'm torn between donating them and throwing them away. Regardless, they can't stay there; I need those shelves for linens. Well, when in doubt, donate. You never know. I have a pile of other books to donate, too, so it won't be all that much more.

Well: I've finished my lunch, and now it's time to get back to work.

#5599: That's just too much. Really.

So, I have knocked off work for today.

The goal was this: clean out the linen closet, then move whatever linens I could from the spare bedroom into it. Donate whatever was usable, throw away what was not.

Once done with the linen closet I moved on to the bedroom. Today I only really made it as far as sorting through all the clothing strewn on the bed and the floor. I separated clothes by "his and hers", then threw away about eighteen pairs of old underwear and about a thousand worn-out or stained sweat socks. I vacuumed, put things into either the laundry pile, the linen closet, or the towel cabinet in the bathroom. Vacuumed and organized, made the bed, it looks a million percent better than it did this morning.

Result: five bags of trash--mostly old linens and clothes, too stained or frayed to be useful--taken out of the house today. Two boxes of books and one bag of stuff for donation staged.

Now that I think of it, actually, it ought to be six bags. One item tossed was an old comforter (vintage 1990) which had worn through on one side; it was a double-size comforter, big and fluffy, and if I had bothered to bag it, it would have taken up a trash bag by itself. So, yeah, make that six bags of trash taken out today.

This is really the first time I've dug into that closet since Mom died. Certainly it hasn't been looked at since then, and a lot of these old linens were really old. We don't need any of them; we have plenty for the double bed in the spare bedroom without needing sheets Mom and Dad bought in 1987. Crimony.

I kept two blankets: an old electric blanket that works, and a much older wool blanket that came from my maternal grandmother's house. The rest of the bedclothes? Gone. I decided to donate all the books in the closet, the textbooks and the yearbooks. Even after retaining all the pictures and stuff and putting some things into the linen closet I still have about 40% of the linen closet free.

It's ridiculous, how much junk there still is to contend with here. I'm not done with this project, not by a long shot; the bedroom still needs more work and then once that's done I need to finish the basement. Getting a strategy is the hardest part; once you've got that, it's just effort.

But damn, it sure looks good.