Finished NaNoWriMo 2006

Whew! I finished writing a novel this month.
Ok, it's a really rough draft, completely unedited, and more than a little rambling. But it's 50,000 words.

That's the second time I've tried my hand at National Novel Writing Month. I started pretty slow this year, and it seems like Thanksgiving came early this year, which sort of messed up my schedule.

Anyway, last year I did a first person viewpoint, so I tried a third person narration this time. Surprisingly, that was simpler than first person, don't know why. But, I thought it constrained my writing so that I was using more pat phrases. Huh.

This year my novel was a space opera. It is sort of derivative of Star Trek (the original series, of course) and 1930's Buck Rogers / Flash Gordon serials (except with more plot). It's a series of connected stories about the crew of a space vessel that is knocked into "unmapped space" and they have to find their way back.

You can read an excerpt here (if it takes too long to load the flash, the link also has a 'text only' excerpt. Look at the bottom of the page).

Now, I'm ready to watch some television.

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Peace = Satan?

A Denver homeowner was ordered to take down a Christmas wreath in the shape of a peace symbol. According to the news report:

Jensen was ordered to take the wreath down when some residents in her 200-home subdivision saw it as a protest of the Iraq war. Bob Kearns, president of the board, also said some saw it as a symbol of Satan.

The homeowners' association demanded Jensen remove the wreath from her house, saying it doesn't allow flags or signs that are considered divisive.

Eventually they let her keep it up after hundreds of people offered to pay the $1000 fine.
Maybe it was a protest of the war? She gets her final say:
"It seems whenever someone tries to say 'Peace on Earth' it is met with so much resistance," she said. "The incredible amount of support we have received over the last couple of days really is proof to us of how many people believe in peace and in our right to say it."
On the other hand, the leader of the Christian Coalition resigned. Apparently, he wanted to expand the agenda to include helping with "issues such as poverty, justice, and creation care." The Christian Coalition board, on the other hand, wasn't interested.
"After initial willingness to consider these changes, the board of the CCA decided, 'that is fine, but that is not who we are,'" Hunter said.


Worst Tipper Ever?

This is a funny site. Keep track of all the slings and arrows you have to bear.

FYI, this guy says: "a shitty tip is, by my definition, any gratuity under 17% for service which one's peers would judge as adequate"

I guess I'm on the list of transgressors, since I usually do 15% (rounded down!).

Also, taking a look around, some other famous bad tippers are Alan Greenspan and Barry (Greg Brady) Williams.

Company Christmas Luncheon

  • Chicken - Seared Chicken with a Chive Buerre Blanc, Served with Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Asparagus.
  • Beef - Braised Short Ribs, Served with Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Asparagus.
  • Fish - Goat Cheese Stuffed Sole with Grape Buerre Blanc, Served with Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Asparagus.
  • Vegetarian - Sweetened Harvest Squash Ravioli Tossed in a White Buree Blanc Sauce, Served with Steamed Asparagus.

I see a pattern here with the carmelized onion mashed potatoes, and the steamed asparagus.
I wonder if the result will look as appetizing as the Google images?

First Virtual World Millionaire

The fortune Anshe Chung commands in Second Life includes virtual real estate that is equivalent to 36 square kilometers of land – this property is supported by 550 servers or land "simulators". In addition to her virtual real estate holdings, Anshe has "cash" holdings of several million Linden Dollars, several virtual shopping malls, virtual store chains, and she has established several virtual brands in Second Life. She also has significant virtual stock market investments in Second Life companies.

Anshe Chung's achievement is all the more remarkable because the fortune was developed over a period of two and a half years from an initial investment of $9.95 for a Second Life account by Anshe's creator, Ailin Graef. Anshe/Ailin achieved her fortune by beginning with small scale purchases of virtual real estate which she then subdivided and developed with landscaping and themed architectural builds for rental and resale. Her operations have since grown to include the development and sale of properties for large scale real world corporations, and have led to a real life "spin off" corporation called Anshe Chung Studios, which develops immersive 3D environments for applications ranging from education to business conferencing and product prototyping.