Random Firings from My Brain

March 25, 2008

A Rare Bit of Excitement

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 9:08 am

Yesterday I decided to talk a little smack and instead got taken out to the woodshed.  It wasn’t that bad actually, he is a cool guy and he made a good point about how when you make your living as a writer sometimes you have balance the desires of your publisher, your fans, and your desire to evolve as an artist.  Look at J.K. Rowling and ignore the fact that she is now a billionaire and that she only makes enough for a decent living but not enough to retire.  At that point, wouldn’t Harry Potter be more of a straight jacket and less of a winning lottery ticket?  I guess it depends because some writers are very happy to crank out the same thing year after year.  On the other hand, Charlie Stross can’t be pinned down, and he always seems to bring something new to the table.  He has his merchant prince series and his singularity/eschaton series and his whatever strikes me as interesting books and he probably makes a good living but not a “I’m rich  biatch!” living.  I hope the writer we shall not name here(I didn’t want to get caught talking some shit, I certainly don’t want to get caught capitalizing on the notoriety of having gotten caught talking shit so I will not mention his name and hopefully his daily ego surfing will not bring him here) is able to expand his voice while maintaining commercial success.  Thanks to his response, I have decided to risk reading The Sagan Diary and when I finish I will write about it here.  Hopefully this doesn’t mean I have to become a science fiction blog.  I don’t want to be pigeonholed.  And if you are here from yesterday and decided to stick around despite a lack of content, welcome to my humble abode.

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March 24, 2008

The Nine Billion Names of God

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 10:00 am

Arthur C. Clarke died last week (March 19). In memory of him, I read The Nine Billion Names of God which I had not read since college. Then, because I am somewhat OCD, I wrote a program to list the Nine Billion (or so) names of God given the following constraints: The English alphabet, no more than nine letters, and no letter will repeat more than 2 times. Its not a brilliant program(there are probably better ways to calculate the combinations of letters) but I wrote it long hand while my wife looked at me funny and then tested it the next day. Its written in java because for whatever reason, it came to pass in my career that I think best in java(in college I would have said it would be c but I don’t’ think I’ve written any c code for 7 years). Here it is(ugh, wordpress really screwed up the formatting of the code):

PrintWriter out = new PrintWriter(new BufferedWriter(new FileWriter("ninebillion.txt")));
char min = 'A';
char max = 'Z';
int numChars = 9;
int diff = (int)max - (int)min + 1;
for (int len = 1; len <= numChars; len ++) {
char count[] = new char[len];
for (int i = 0; i < count.length; i ++) {
count[i] = min;
}
int lim = (int)Math.pow((double)diff, (double)len);
for (int i = 0; i < lim; i++) {
count[0]++;
for (int j = 0; j < count.length; j++) {
if (count[j] > max) {
if (j < (count.length - 1)) {
count[j+1]++;
}
count[j] = min;
}
}
int numLetters = 0;
char lastLetter = 0;
boolean good = true;
for (int j = 0; (j < count.length) && (good); j++) {
if (count[j] == lastLetter) {
numLetters++;
if (numLetters > 2) good = false;
} else {
numLetters = 1;
}
lastLetter = count[j];
}
if (good) {
//String tmp = new String(count);
out.println(count);
}
}

}
out.close();

Hugo Nominee John Scalzi

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 9:46 am

 I liked the world famous snarkiness of John Scalzi so much better when it was just on his blog.  Now, when I read his newer books, such as the Hugo Nominated The Last Colony, I feel like I am reading a very extended blog entry, Whatever in Space!  I’m almost scared to read The Sagan Diary, which is written from the point of view of Jane Sagan.  A Vaguely Feminine Whatever in Space!  I liked Old Man’s War a lot and The Ghost Brigades too.  But more and more it seems like, as a novelist, Scalzi is just a one trick pony.  I don’t begrudge the man making a living or winning awards, but I do think I can wait for the mass market paperback of Zoe’s Tale.

February 5, 2008

Blogs about Blogs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 12:32 pm

I am very tired of reading blogs that are focused on how to monetize your blog written by people trying to get rich and famous by blogging.  Very, very tired.  I read one that started out with a lot of promise but now he wishes he was John Chow since all he writes about is the food he eats and the stuff he is giving away in a contest that seems largely geared towards making him more money and acquiring more readers.  He had content at one point but now it is all gone.  Kind of like John Chow.  My dear readers this is why I am so awesome.  I make money in real life, I could give two shits about whether or not I make any money with a blog.  Well, gotta go, John Chow just posted about his morning crap.  I wonder what kind of coffee he had today.

February 3, 2008

Angry Rant

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 1:01 pm

I bought a house in 2004 and I can afford the monthly payments easily.  I have a 30 year fixed at 5.25%.  Where is my fucking hero cookie?  The federal government is tripping over itself to fix the crisis but I was a responsible home buyer and I am going to get fucked over because of it.  On top of that, I have to pay $3/gallon for gas because people won’t stop buying fucking Hummers!  I was again a responsible consumer, bought only as much as I could afford at a low interest rate and I bought a Honda which gets 30 mpg.  Again, where is my fucking hero cookie?  I’m sick of my fucking taxes going towards bailing stupid people out of their dumbass decisions.

January 23, 2008

Get Over Yourself Already

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 1:58 pm

I keep seeing a type of commercial. I am disturbed by the message that you are totally justified in destroying someone’s property, life, or just fucking with their world in general due to some minor social infraction (or hell, in the case of the lottery commercials even less). It started over the holidays. Two (I think) spots were playing, advertising for the Georgia Lottery’s holiday scratchers (it may be all lotteries but I live in Georgia). Apparently it is a cardinal sin in our society to not get a christmas present for your gardener so they must punish you by destroying your lawn ornaments and whatnot. Then, you have to get a present for your barber or he is completely justified in shaving anything he wants into the back of your head. Now, major brands are getting into the spirit, and you are allowed, neigh, obligated to destroy someone’s clothes at the laundromat if they are rude to you. The cartoon cheetah says “Go for it.”

Am I the only one who notices this trend? At what point did we become a nation of psychopaths who expects immaculate treatment from society or we will destroy them? I remember when I was eleven years old I was at a picnic. Another boy and I were playing with a volleyball and a little girl wanted to play too. We were 11 and she was 5 and we told her to get lost. How horrible of us. Could we have been more polite about it? Of course, but we were 11 and most 11 year olds are little shits. I was no different. So this five year old girl finds a rock and brains me with it. I’ve learned in life that for some reason a rock hurts far worse than anything else. One time I got hit in the arm with a small rock and it hurt for two days but I’ve been hit on my skull with a baseball and it barely lasted an hour. If the little girl’s intent was to reduce me to a crying mess, she succeeded. But her Daddy didn’t think it was that big a deal since I was rude to her sweet baby girl. Hell, the first thing the adults asked, rather than oh shit, who raised such a fucking psycho of a 5 year old, was what did you do to her?

This was 17 years ago. I think the American sense of entitlement has only gotten worse since then. How is it, that the citizens of what is supposedly the “greatest nation ever” have such a victim complex?

December 5, 2007

Its my blog, I’ll whine if I want to

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 2:11 pm

I’m tired of monetized blogs that force you to navigate their archives four articles at a time to increase the number of page views they get. Yeah, I know, you get $8 per 1000 impressions  (CPM) but come on, don’t make me earn the entire eight bucks for you while trying to find some article from 2005. So my promise is one day, when I have 8 million page views a day I will provide a day by day navigator for my archives (both months). I will be content with the $64,000/day I will make just by providing incredibly insightful articles like this one.

Better Living Through Debt Elimination.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 12:43 pm

In March of 2005 I calculated my consumer debt (not counting the mortgage) at about $36,000.  Today, its less than $4000 and it will be paid off by March.  Too bad I did not start a blog about it.  In addition to eliminating his debt JD Roth announced recently his plans to transition to full time blogger.  I’m so jealous it hurts.  Luckily I have my own plans to escape from the cube farm but all things in good time.  Congratulations JD, on both counts.

November 6, 2007

The Perils of Case Sensitivity

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 2:56 pm

Javascript is case sensitive.  Coldfusion is not.  It is driving me nuts.

November 4, 2007

A Couple Other Things that Annoy Me

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 8:48 pm

Loose is the opposite of tight. Lose is the opposite of win. There is a difference.

Blogs that are just the self indulgent rantings of a cranky person. Um, nothing more to see here…

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