Archive for November, 2004

A Miscellany of Miscellany

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Just a few links:

In the Desert of No Jack

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Warning: Spoilers for SG season 6.

I’m still stuck in Season 6 of Stargate SG-1. (I’m that far thanks to Jerie’s ceaseless efforts to spread the SG love.) “Disclosure” (617) was a frightful low, not just in the total absence of Jack but also with the Kinsey acting like a great big whiny brat. The government can’t make up it’s mind who’s running the Stargate program eps never work for me. I didn’t buy the logic of his whining to foreign ambassadors in order to get a domestic policy change. I also didn’t understand why the Thor ex machina worked here but not in season 7. The West Wing it ain’t.

So I was despairing in the desert of no Jack when I started “Forsaken” (618). And there was Jack! Looking back on it, I’m not sure it was all that great an episode. I just enjoyed the challenge of trying (and failing) to figure out what exactly was going on.

The real thrill was “The Changeling” (619). I’m not big into the Jaffa Rebellion arc—it’s just as clunky and cheesy as the NID Politics arc—but at least the Jaffa have an excuse for being cheesy. The Goa’uld made them that way. And they turn the cheese into something almost moving.

So I’ve come to expect Jaffa Cheese from the average Teal’c episode; Teal’c with lines makes up for it. Instead, I got Teal’c Decheesed, plus a mystery to figure out, plus pleasant lingering questions like:

  1. Did Daniel actually do anything?
  2. What happens now?
  3. If Teal’c can speak colloquial English when he’s dying, why can’t he do it every episode?
  4. How does he know so much about firemen, anyway?

Jack and Sam were phoning it in, but they were still cute as firemen. Jonas stole every scene he was in, as usual. Ascended!Daniel is a little too saccharine for my tastes, but I hear he’s descending soon. I’ll miss Jonas.

50% NaNo

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Today is the 25,000 word mark. I’m a little behind schedule, but overall the novel is going well. The first draft is complete, with an exciting action-packed climax in which the fecal matter hits the rotary air circulation device and alien excrement ends up everywhere. As requested by Jerie, I canned the volcano plan and went with the stealth ending, so only a few aliens got chewed up, stealthily.

The urchin that Rocky suggested adding managed to survive all the way to the end of the novel, although another urchin got himself chewed. The two urchins may merge into one during the editing process (under that literary law about not multiplying urchins unnecessarily). I’m tempted to edit now to get the events into better order, but overall I’m happy with my 60 or so scenes. They just need to be twice as long by the end of NaNo.

WP Line Breaks in Comments

Sunday, November 14th, 2004

Rocky left me a poem in my comments, which revealed that my WP line-break fix was fixing a bit too much. I still need the fix for weird old Blogger and MT entries, but I didn’t want it “fixing” the linebreaks in comments.

So the line break fix is just replacing br=1 with br=0 in the wpautop function in wp-includes/formatting-functions.php. The trouble came up when my altered wpautop was loaded as a filter in wp-includes/template-functions-comment.php. I needed the old one there. If I really understood the functions, maybe I could have stuck a br=something into wp-includes/template-functions-comment.php, but I was just there to hack. So instead I made a copy of wpautop in wp-includes/formatting-functions.php, called it wpautopp, and changed the filter name in wp-includes/template-functions-comment.php to wpautopp.

It works, but upgrading to WP 1.3 is going to be a nightmare for me.

Vlaanderen onafhankelijk!

Sunday, November 14th, 2004

For those who wonder what I have against Europe, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Belgium is a perfect example:

Sophisticated Europe, where you can vote for any party as long as the cultural commissars approve of it. Otherwise, you’ll face sanctions, fines, & imprisonment.

Solar Winter

Saturday, November 13th, 2004

It usually doesn’t snow here until winter, so a few flakes on Friday were unusual enough. Imagine my surprise when I woke this morning to find four inches of it on the ground. When it snows in the fall, all the leaves that no one has bothered to rake get frozen and then slushed into orange nastiness. But at least the snow was pretty, and appropriate for Dr. Deb’s Disaster Movie Night tonight. We watched The Day After Tomorrow.

Bad, Bad Words

Friday, November 12th, 2004

Boston weather of the day: snow—actual snow!

Seema and I have been writing some bad, bad words as part of the NaNo rush, but I think my bad words are different from her bad words. For one thing, I haven’t used “cough” even once yet, never mind three times in the same sentence.

At this stage, my NaNo novel is an outline with passable dialogue (except for Jack phoning it in) and a whole lot of bad words where the stunning prose ought to be. The bad words are:

  • look
  • seem
  • be
  • turn
  • smile
  • frown
  • shrug
  • sigh
  • jump
  • stand up
  • sit down
  • raise eyebrow
  • nod
  • shake head
  • motion

My characters need to do something while they’re speaking, so I toss in a bad word wherever I know actual relevant actions should be happening. Now I’m getting to the end of the story, where Snark Conquers Evil and our heroes ride off into the stargate together. And that’s where the trouble starts, because I have to go back and fill in some real action where my characters were just jumping around like crazy people.

Maybe I’ll do the descriptions next, instead.

PHP Mode for Emacs

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Fic of the day: Wherever You Roam (SG-1, PG, AU), a short sequel to “A White Dove.”

I’ve always wondered why Emacs didn’t highlight my PHP code automagically. Today I was working on a site and decided enough was enough—I would find a way to get pretty PHP.

Fortunately, there’s a website devoted to this very issue: Emacs & PHP. He said his favorite was the SourceForge PHP mode for Emacs project so I went with that. Here’s the .emacs code to autoload it:

    (autoload 'php-mode "php-mode" "Yay PHP" t)
    (setq auto-mode-alist (cons '(".php$" . php-mode)
    (setq auto-mode-alist (cons '(".phps$" . php-mode)

33% NaNo

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Today is that magic day when a third of the novel is complete. My plot is almost done; soon I’ll need to go back and add the setting. I’m writing in layers, with the dialogue and clunky screen directions first. I wonder if I’ll be able to keep up my current pace once I go back to the beginning and start adding quality to my quantity. Quality takes time.

I’ve had another difficulty nanoing; Bitter!Jack the Muse has been reluctant to come out and snark. Daniel is going fine, and Sam and Teal’c are out of character for plot purposes (my nefarious scheme to conceal the fact that I can’t write either of them), but Jack just isn’t as snappy as usual. I think it comes from watching too much season 6. Jack is phoning it in and the muse isn’t getting enough material to inspire snark.

Maybe I’ll back up to season 4 for a while—the Best of Jack.

More Mac Links

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

Hello Kitty link of the day: Hello Kitty Laptop (with fuzzy pink mouse)

A few more links to dump: