Archive for November, 2003

Unpopular Meme

Thursday, November 20th, 2003

Word count: 2400

Seema doesn’t like this meme but I thought it was cool, and since my last entry was an unpopular opinion I may as well continue the pattern. I’m not sure what the rules are since I haven’t read many meme responses and I don’t know where it started. As far as I know, I’m supposed to list ten of my unpopular opinions about fandom.

  1. I have a muse. In fact, I have several, both named and unnamed. B’Elanna the Canon-Correcting Muse wrote my best fic for me and I am eternally grateful to her. If you find her in a seedy bar somewhere, send her home.
  2. Free biology lessons are not fiction, they are free biology lessons.
  3. If it’s not canon, it’s just not all that interesting - unless it’s an AU. I’d rather read about an AU where everyone was paired up in weird ways than read non-AU fic with the same premise.
  4. Slash is therefore uninteresting, as is post-Endgame J/C.
  5. There is no such thing as subtext. Your interpretation of the text (the text being the actual sound and picture of a television show, or the actual words printed on the pages of a book) is just your interpretation. The author’s intent is as inaccessible to you as the what the author had for lunch that day.
  6. The world does not need another mailing list, archive, or bulletin board.
  7. Harry Potter is overrated.
  8. Speaking of which, litfic is more morally and legally questionable than mediafic - at least until the copyright expires.
  9. My fic is a free gift to the readers. I do not expect feedback or anything else in return for it. I do not write for the feedback. Posting my fic does not mean that I wrote it for the feedback; it just means that I’m nice and I’m giving the gift of fic.
  10. It’s my blog. I don’t use bad language or make personal attacks here, so if you’re offended, that’s your problem. When you’ve grown up and realized that the world isn’t going to end just because not everyone in it shares your opinions, feel free to come back.

[P.S.] Liz claims that this meme is just the old manifesto meme come back again. Many of my answers were more or less the same this time, although I wasn’t able to fit RPS and It’s the 24th century, people! into this version.


Wednesday, November 19th, 2003

Word count: 2550 (and too much blogging)

It’s official now - I’m old. I wasn’t planning to be old until tomorrow, but it hit me early because of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decision to extend marriage to homosexuals. That’s only an indirect cause of the premature aging; the end of marriage is one of those things that’s been coming on for a long time. You never think it will be your state and your black-robed masters who will put the final nail in the coffin, but hey, somebody has to do it. You don’t get to the fall of Rome without plenty of declining along the way.

American politics never really gets to me. It’s not like we’re all going to be pushed into the sea because of a single bad decision - it’s not a high-stakes game, it’s just a gentle decline and fall. When we make mistakes, other people’s governments collapse and other people get slaughtered by the millions. But I’m now officially out of patience with the willful ignorance of individuals and, to quote Thomas Sowell, with self-congratulation as a basis for social policy. Stupidity in groups is perhaps inevitable; it only bothers me in individuals.

So, to be specific, it’s the 10% number again. The media spent years spreading the myth that 10% of the population is homosexual, even though the number conflicts with scientific data and, much more importantly, is clearly and obviously inaccurate. Ten percent is a lot of people. It’s 635,000 people in Massachusetts alone, 30,000,000 in the US overall. It is, to be trite, one out of every ten people you know.

Now I don’t think that homosexuality is as biologically based as other people seem to, so I believe it is logically possible for 10% of the population to be gay. It’s simply a question of fact - if 10% of the population were of an incompatible sexual persuasion, you would notice. Those are not “don’t ask, don’t tell” numbers - those are numbers rivalling the black population. To put it in Bostonian terms, Cambridge is not a Roxbury full of gay folks, even though they’ve announced that they’ll be issuing same-sex marriage licenses before our Mormon governor can get his constitutional amendment going. (By the way, the black population of Massachusetts is only 5%, and it’s still higher than the homosexual population.) I found a nice overview of sexuality surveys, many of which show that the number is closer to 2% (as was believed in the medical community before the Kinsey report). There’s a nicer summary from the family research institute, but I’m not expecting you to take their word for it.

Since I believe it’s too late for our culture, what do I care about the cooling corpse of the civil institution of marriage? I don’t particularly; I just object to the characterization of those who do care as hateful, homophobic, or just plain irrational. Of the three, I don’t find hateful or prejudiced people all that scary, because there are so few of them. (Hateful here means actually feeling an emotion of hatred, not just disagreeing with someone else’s political agenda.) It’s the irrational people, the ones who are hallucinating about a full tenth of the population, who disturb me.

I’m too old to live in a country full of people who can’t count. This isn’t the first incident of non-counting to prematurely age me - the most notable recent one was when someone I know claimed that the Inquisition had killed five million witches. My attempts to impress upon said person that that was nearly the entire population of Spain at the time - and, again, someone would have noticed - fell upon deaf ears. (To his credit I should mention that he gave a good guess of the homosexual population at not more than 5% - his political sensitivity is restricted to religion.) I’m not talking about hicks here, but people with advanced technical degrees who ought to be able to count - but somehow the skill abandons them when politics is involved.

Widescreen NNW

Tuesday, November 18th, 2003

Word count: 3300

If you have the OS X Developers Tools installed, you can go wide in NetNewsWire or NNW Lite. Just follow the instructions at If you’re using NNW Lite, the main window is in the MainMenu.nib file, not the file mentioned there. Also, “open the inspector” means do “Show Info” from the tools menu. I’m already enjoying the non-scrolling action.

Also, here are some short and sweet instructions for making favicons with GraphicConverter. And the iMac has grown.

Forgot to Blog

Tuesday, November 18th, 2003

Word count: 2250

Sorry, I was writing so hard I forgot to blog. So why don’t I have any real words to show for it? Well, my day at the library turned into a huge linguistics research fest rather than the intended big writing event. I may have to try some of the NaNo recommended coffeeshops instead. Fortunately I don’t have an Airport card so wireless goofing off is out of the question…

I am catching up slowly. I think I’m only 6,000 words behind or so.

Bad Guys

Sunday, November 16th, 2003

Word count: 2875

I’ve forced myself back on the NaNo wagon and I’m slowly recovering from the huge wc (wordcount to you non-unix geeks) deficit I ran up last week. The secret to subplot, I’ve decided, is adding a sufficient quantity of low-grade bad-guys, and letting them plot little plots. Right now, My Hero’s semi-ex-wife is about to blackmail him over some accidental adultery.

I still have too many good guys running around. I could kill some off, but that’s not really in the spirit of my peaceful 30th century society…

Big Mac in Big Three

Saturday, November 15th, 2003

Word count: 1800

It’s official: the Big Mac is the world’s third-fastest supercomputer. Just wait until they install Panther!

Some cool Mac facts: You can use the tab key to switch between windows when Exposé is on. You can also use command-` to tab between windows of the current application without Exposé. If you want to read PDF’s within Safari (or, presumably, other Mac browsers - though who uses those anymore?) try the PDF Browser Plugin. You can block ads in Safari with PithHelmet.

Finally Unpacked

Friday, November 14th, 2003

Word count: don’t hold your breath

Veronica moved up the street in August and still has some boxes left to unpack. I moved here to at the end of May and all of my fic has finally followed. There were a few stories I didn’t convert to ficml because they had some complicated markup, like The Museum and Filk of La Mancha, but I did add the preference picker php code to them so they look more or less like the automatically generated pages.

One exception is Colony which is officially down for revisions, though truly industrious readers will be able to find it. Please tell me if you find anything else missing - feel free to use the feedback form for that sort of thing. Thanks!

Text Shadows

Thursday, November 13th, 2003

Word count: 750

Sometime after I installed Kitty, I noticed a weird grey shadow under the links on my ever-so-cool splash page. Today as I was surfing the mac blogs (through NetNewsWire, of course) I discovered that Safari 1.1 (the version that shipped with Panther) is the only browser that supports the CSS text-shadow property. My shadows were set to silver because silver was the color in the code for the confetti menu my splash page is based on. Since I couldn’t see the shadows when I was designing the page, I didn’t know what color to use instead of silver - I just left it there.

So I tweaked the menu a bit - basically, I took the background color of the page, subtracted #222222 from it to darken it, and fixed some other little problems. Also, Jerie and I went on a Stargate font hunt, so I got my Stargate A font back (it’s available at Shrine of Isis - Fonts). Since chances are you aren’t running Panther, you can click on the thumbnail below to see just how cool the kittified page looks in a real browser.

I also saw a couple of cool color generators in my travels: ColorMatch 5k and ColorMatch Remix. Go slide the sliders - they’re addictive.

Fic Migration

Wednesday, November 12th, 2003

Word count: 0

In a spate of not-nanoing, I converted most of my fic to ficml and moved it here to Along with the ficml conversion comes the preference picker, and I also tossed in a feedback form like Jade’s. You can see the new look on, say, The Other Side of the Gate, recently recced by Seldear (thanks!), or on filky classics like Raj of Rage and Yesterday, When I Was Borg.

Not all of the reams of Voyager fic has been converted yet so the VOY fic index still redirects to freeshell, but all other fic (Buffy, TOS, miscellaneous Trek) is now housed locally, including a new Stargate drabble that’s been languishing in xml until now: Canary Song.

The point of this sudden attention to my long-neglected off-site non-Stargate fic was to enter some of it in the Voyager J/C Decathlon. (It wasn’t my idea - I was pestered.) Anyway, my entries, in order of size and category, are:

I’ve also finally added a visited link color to the blog. It looks better already.

Stargate Meme

Tuesday, November 11th, 2003

Word count: 1130

This is an old meme that Jerie dug up out of her blogspot blog. I’m completely unqualified to do it because I’ve only seen a few episodes, but she claims she was as ickle as I am when she filled it out.

How long have you been a fan of Stargate SG-1?
I’ve been a fan wanna-be since Voyager went off the air, but I didn’t get to see any eps until July of this year. That’s also when I wrote my first drabble.

What was the main reason that you became a fan?
Voyager went off the air, Buffy went off the air, and Enterprise put me to sleep. I needed a new show. I needed the fanfic inspiration you can only get from new, never-before-seen episodes in an open-ended canon.

The ONE Stargate SG-1 episode you think is the best they’ve done, that you can watch forever?
I doubt I’ve seen the best they’ve done. I think “Singularity” was very well done, and I could watch “Enigma” forever just for Narim.

What is the ONE Stargate SG-1 episode you think could be timeless–as in always be played on the TV years from now?
Again, from my restricted frame of reference, I’d say “1969″ because humor never loses its appeal. It’s also a very approachable episode for someone who doesn’t know the show.

When was Stargate SG-1 at its best?
When it’s funny and when the sci-fi is really cool - the quantum mirror is my favorite plot device.

Who is the ONE character on Stargate SG-1 who you can’t get enough of?
Jack. I adore the snark.

Your favourite B-storyline (underlying thread) of Stargate SG-1?
Definitely the development of the abilities and memories Sam inherited from Jolinar. I love that clueless look she gets whenever a new one pops up.

What’s your favourite line from a Stargate SG-1 episode?
“Hail Dorothy.” –Jack in “Seth.”

What’s Stargate SG-1’s best season out of all their seasons?
I have no idea. I haven’t seen any of the seasons that are considered good.

How many Stargate SG-1 conventions have you been to?

Do you think you are a fan of the show for its content or for the actors?
The content. I don’t know a thing about the actors. I don’t think any of them are especially good-looking, either, except for Narim of course.

What is your favourite show of all time that’s NOT Stargate SG-1?
I would have to say Star Trek: The Original Series. I’ve really enjoyed writing Voyager fanfic, but my main interest in the show was as fodder for fanfic, not the other way around. And TOS has Khan, so it must be the Superior Trek.

Favorite pairing of characters on Stargate SG-1?
So far, it’s Sam/Narim. Sam and Jack are cute together, but they haven’t really become a pairing yet in my mind. Maybe later in season 3…