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InkBlot's Journal

I'm not sure what this is, it's just here...

Page 2 of 4

Cash for Tumblers?

Been seeing a lot of conservatives poking at the recent Cash for Clunkers program. Our govt, of course, underestimated the appeal and $1 billion in funds expected to last four months only lasted a week. There is, understandably, much to poke fun at here.

What I don’t entirely get, however, is this chain of thought: I keep seeing pundits ask, “why did we pay people to buy cars? Why not…” washer/dryers, sofas, pizza, etc.

Call me dense here, but I figured we were going for stimulus, right? Maximum economic impact? So, I buy a new car, saving over $4 grand, I’m pretty happy. I’m going out to drive around my new little car, eating out more, seeing movies, generally being a good little consumer.

You pay me to buy a new washer/dryer? I’m…doing my laundry. Nice and all, especially if I don’t have a washer/dryer now, but the likelihood of it changing my spending habits is pretty low. Oh, I might buy detergent now. The makers of Tide are happy.

Cars are major purchases, and the Cash for Clunkers is a significant rebate…enough that, in my humble opinion, recipients are more likely to redirect that back into the economy than $150 off a washer/dryer or sofa.

Epic Fail

Some hours after wrestling with the daemons of LiveJournal, I peek at my blog to discover my epic failure. In having to delete and recreate my LJ, I’ve inadvertently spammed anyone who had me on their friends page.

I honestly never expected reposting entries back dated to last year would show up in friends lists. I sincerely apologize to everyone affected by this, I hope I fall off your lists soon.

Important journal news stuff…

Yeah, real fancy on the titles there, I know.   Well, if you’ve been watching the craziness this afternoon, I’ve been blowing up my livejournal real good.   That’s because of two things:

  • I actually host all content at my own site: inkernet.com and I’ve just updated said site to the newest WordPress, and with that, changed to a new LiveJournal crossposting thingie, that also supports…
  • Another mirror I’ve created at dreamwidth.org.   It’s a spinoff of LiveJournal, to which some of my friends are already moving.   So, I have a foot in both doors, so to speak.

So….after much loss of brain matter, I’ve merged old comments from LJ over to the “core” website, inkernet.com.   And, I’ve now set it where thats the only place to leave comments.   I hope this doesn’t scare away any LJ or DW people, there’s no registration needed!   Just click the link at the bottom of each post, and you’ll be at my site.   A name, e-mail (which stays hidden), and your comments are all you need. This is all to protect my sanity in the long run, but it may kill comments entirely…I tried this in the past, but had actual user registration running over at inkernet.com and no one posted.   I think it was just too much for anyone to take.   So, I turned that off and I’m relying on akismet to keep the spam off me. I will just have to try and post such witty, such incredible, such wonderful content you won’t have any choice but to come tell me how spiffy I am. Failing that, cute kittens:


Today’s Stupid

Whether it’s me or the other guy, I’ll let you decide.

A side link on Digg led me to the article Seven (More) Reasons to Ditch Your iPhone.   I’ll point out now, for full disclosure.   I own a cat.   Oh, and an iPhone, too.

So far as I know, the cat is not impressed by my iPhone.

Anyhoo, the author of said article has lined up his reasons why we should be throwing the torches and pitchforks Apple’s way, and abandoning ship for a cheaper, more friendly cell phone & carrier.   Although, he’s directing his ire at Apple, not AT&T, but I digress.   I’ve read the article, and I have to call “crap!”

Let’s look at his points, shall we?

Continue reading

Rules for Superhero Movies

I was talking this over with a coworker today, so I thought I’d put it out here for dicussion.   My rules of Superhero Movies aren’t necessarily proscriptive, but instead describe what Superhero Movies ought to do, if they wish to be successful.   Plenty of movies try to exceed these limitations all the time, and the results aren’t always pretty.

It’s a work in progress, so I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Continue reading


So a little team builder at work recently ran me through the Myers-Briggs assessment.   I’ve taken it before, and I’m sure I’ll be subjected to it again, and I often get the same results each time.   For those of you wishing to get to know me better, maybe these results of my assessment will help.   Maybe not.

It feels an awful lot like reading your horoscope in the newspaper and going, “that is so MEEEEEE!”

Continue reading

But…girls don’t use computers!

Apparently, a columnist over as MSNBC has gotten a bit offended that Dell has launched a new sub-site called Della, targeting her side of the demographic pool.   Well, except that they’re targeting women with interests in fashion, fitness, time-management and possibly mobile computing?   And it looks like that’s not quite her demographic after all. Continue reading

To boldly go…(bold:adventuresome, adventurous, audacious, daring, dashing, emboldened, enterprising, gutsy…)

I’m quite a literary nut some days, as much as I geek out about technology and computers I also geek out about literature and, on occasion, literary theory.   Egads!   So, after seeing the new Star Trek movie last weekend 1)and so you know: yes, it rocks!, I came across two articles I thought I’d put forward.   The first is from John Rogers at Kung Fu Monkey, Star Trek and Breaking the Rules.   The second is from Eric Burns-White at Websnark, a site I follow on a regular basis.   And yes, when you look at my posting schedule, that last sentence works, darnit!   Anyway, Eric’s rebuttal: On Treks into Heroism and Reclaiming Ashes: Star Trek and the Heroic Journey.

So you know now, they both contain spoilers! Massive, earth shattering, why-bother-to-see-the-movie-now? kind of spoilers.   You have been warned.

Oh, and I personally prefer Eric’s analysis.   As overwrought as Campbell’s Hero’s Journey is in movies today, it’s always nice to see a really clever movie come along and sneak it in right under your nose.   If you read Eric’s essay and think, “huh, I didn’t even see that!” Then JJ Abrams can pat himself on the back.

That is, of course, if he or his script writers even planned it that way.   And if they didn’t?   Well, that’s even better.

References   [ + ]

1. and so you know: yes, it rocks!


I like webcomics.   They’re a bright part of my morning.   So why is it that after I’ve carefully sorted my bookmarks into folders based on when they update (daily, MWF, etc.), I still proceed to check them all, every day?

But at least I’m organized.

Understanding your fellow man.

Because we just don’t come with owner’s manuals.   Recently, over livejournal way, an sci-fi/fantasy author posted an article on her blog about “writing the Other”, that is, writing characters of different races or genders than yourself.   Now, it seems funny for the science fiction or fantasy crowds to worry over this, but we’re not talking about bug eyed aliens, or orcs and goblins.   We’re talking normal, every day people not unlike ourselves…except for that one important difference that makes their life completely unlike anything we’ve experienced.

Let’s face it.   When you’re writing about elves, you’re usually not expecting them to actually READ your books.

So, this author took a stab at trying to encourage other authors not to shy away from such characters (as often we do, for fear of looking foolish), and even offered some tips to keep foot from mouth.   Much discussion ensued, particularly from the sort of people that fit into the   “Other” category in relation to the author.   It began well enough, with constructive criticism that explored the topic more deeply.   Then it began to segue into comparisons to the author’s own works, including one book which began with kind of a classic example of “How Not To Do It” (on purpose, being something of a theme in that book).   Which is where, from what I can tell, things began to get out of hand.

Some folks who hadn’t read the books being discussed all the way through had ill-informed opinions, some friends of the author began to intervene on her behalf, and conversation became even more heated.   You might be tempted to say, “well, that’s how this sort of thing goes.”   However, looking from the outside, I think the biggest derailment was caused more by preexisting personality conflicts – that is, friction between some people in the overall discussion that exisited well before this drama erupted.   Be aware, that’s my opinion and may or may not reflect reality.   I found the whole thing disappointing, and stayed far out of it.   If you truly wish to try and sort out the real story for yourself, there’s a chronicle of links here, or a more concise summary here.

The overall drama has been dubbed Race Fail ’09.   Don’t let the name fool you, as acutally more useful conversation about race and understanding was had than not.   The “fail” part, as I said, seemed more about personality conflicts and errors in communication that led to battle lines being drawn, livejournals being deleted, and people being hurt.   The thing to remember, is there really aren’t any battle lines; there’s no “sides” in this.   There’s people.   People trying to understand one another.

So, I recommend to you the following discussions.   They’re closed now, but they happened over on John Scalzi’s blog: Whatever.   Scalzi had remained out of the drama until it was unceremoniously dumped on his porch step.   His initial reaction was to fire the shotgun in the air, and demand everyone off his lawn.   He was harshly criticised for this, for being dismissive of the overall topic.   After some time to calm down, and some thoughtful voices reaching out to him, Scalzi apologized and reopened discussion on his own site by inviting a few guest speakers over.

I learned a lot from these threads, and it’s given me much to think about.   I hope it will do the same for you.   I don’t ask anyone to go in there thinking, “this is the correct and only way to think about this.”   I do want you to realize this is some very well reasoned, thoughtful insights on a topic area that, frankly, I’ve never had to think about before.   But some people have….some people have no choice.   So listen to their words, their thoughts.   And consider yourself, and where you’re at in your life.

Mary Anne Mohanraj Gets You Up to Speed, Part  I

Mary Anne Mohanraj Gets You Up to Speed, Part  II

Taking One for the Team: K. Tempest  Bradford

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