Wanderings

Anything you dream is fiction,
and anything you accomplish is science,
the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.
- Ray Bradbury
January 30th, 2010

COF hacked

Steve at the Crotchety Old Fan has been hacked. Someone got onto his site and screwed it all up. Google has removed him from their index and he’s not getting any traffic from the search engines. I’ve been reading Steve’s blogs every morning for about a year now and he feels like a friend, although we’ve never met. When I heard he had been hacked, my instinct was to load my tools in the back of the truck and ride up to New Hampshire to see what I could do. He doesn’t need my sawsall and wrecking bar. He can’t use my hammer, but I wish there was something I could do.

Getting hacked can be a little like being raped. Although not nearly as traumatic or violent, there is a similar feeling of violation.  Steve’s site is like his child and he’s been building up circulation and making the site pay little by little with care and worry over each detail.

Every blogger who passes by here, and I know there are a few, please add Rimworlds – http://www.rimworlds.com/thecrotchetyoldfan/ – to your blogroll. Steve needs the inbound links for when Google starts indexing the site again. The best way to help Steve out is to stop by his site and see how he is doing, make a comment (there’s plenty to comment about). Please spread the word. Make a post on your blog or set the status on your facebook  page and get Steve as many links to his site as possible so he can spring back from this.






January 29th, 2010

Passwords

I am in the process of cleaning up a database that has user passwords. I just did a check to find the 50 most common passwords out of a database of about 50,000 users. It is pretty sad. Who uses bubbles as a password?

User Password Count
123456 441
password 158
iloveyou 63
sunshine 50
123456789 49
qwerty 48
princess 46
amanda 36
12345678 36
michael 36
tigger 35
monkey 32
hannah 32
charlie 31
ashley 31
daniel 30
abc123 29
superman 28
jessica 27
taylor 26
purple 26
1234567 26
peanut 26
shadow 25
soccer 25
jennifer 25
jordan 25
samantha 24
joshua 24
111111 23
michelle 23
matthew 23
pepper 23
666666 22
dragon 22
thomas 21
whatever 21
andrew 21
mother 21
bubbles 20
cowboy 20
william 19
buster 19
morgan 19
heather 19
yellow 18
robert 18
sophie 18
babygirl 18
000000 18





January 28th, 2010

J. D. Salinger Died Yesterday

I, like most readers of my generation, read Catcher in the Rye as a teenager and have probably reread it few more times since.

There’s not much to say about the man, and that’s how he wanted it, but there are supposed to be a dozen or so unpublished books locked in a drawer somewhere that might appear now. I am interested in these. I foresee J.D. Salinger hitting the best seller lists in 2010.

J. D. Salinger – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.






January 27th, 2010

Bees are Coming

I ordered two 3 pound bee packages that will arrive some time on March 25th. They are coming up in a truck from Georgia. We’ll all be waiting for him in the parking lot of the Palisades Mall. The price is good ($80 each). I spoke to Adam Fuller of AZ Apiaries on the phone and he seems like a good guy.

If you want bees, order NOW because the truck is almost full.

I have two hives now, but one probably won’t make it. I have another hive box for the hive that already died. I have a spare hive box. This is a total of 4. If both hives that are alive now make it through the winter I will have 4 hives.






January 27th, 2010

Apple iPad

$499 base price. 3G is an extra $130 + $30 a month unlimited data.

Damn!

I want this thing.

I have to think of way to come up with $650 bucks. This is truly amazing.

Down size is no multitasking and no phone.

It runs at 1 Ghz, so I can expect an operating system upgrade eventually that runs apps in virtual box so that it can multitask. It has a built in mic and speaker, but it is a little overlarge to use as a phone easily.

The $29.99 a month for unlimited 3G will start a price war. I expect Verizon and T-mobile to drop their prices. It won’t affect Europe and Canada where there are state enforced monopolies. It will still cost an arm and a leg there.






January 27th, 2010

JOHN W CAMPBELL – Who Goes There?

There is a signed copy of John W. Campbell, Jr.’s Who Goes There? for sale on eBay for $1,500. This is the story that the movie “The Thing” was made from. Campbell, of course, did more to shape modern SF than anyone and should be remembered for his work as an editor. I am not such a big fan of his fiction, though.

This is an historical book and I think $1,500 is cheap.


JOHN W CAMPBELL – Who Goes There? – SIGNED 1ST EDITION
.






January 27th, 2010

XXX Heinlein

Steve over at the Crotchety Old Fan has one of those omnibus posts that covers soup to nuts. Included in it is the factoid that if you want to get lots of traffic, just include the phrase XXX Heinlein in your tags.

He mentions me as a someone to vote for in the Hugo awards short story nominations. – Thanks, Steve.

He also suggests that one might want to consider Fred Pohl’s The Way the Future Blog for best fan writer. I was going to vote for Steve anyway, but I really  enjoy Fred’s musings on the early days of SF, so I’ll vote for him, too.

Steve makes lots of sensible  recommendations. Steve and I would beg you please do not vote for Avatar in the movie class. The story is an embarrassment to anyone striving to be a Science Fiction author.

XXX Heinlein and other stuff.






January 26th, 2010

Final Season Of ‘Lost’

Lost is coming back. I thought it was dead. Erica watches this, but I have had no idea what the show has been about for the past few seasons. Erica doesn’t know either. I usually like time travel stories and I find paradoxes intellectually interesting. “Lost”, however, is just plain impossible to follow.






January 25th, 2010

Signed Heinlein on eBay

My birthday is coming up.

This is a Gnome Press 1959 edition of one of the master’s early collections. I just finished rereading this a few weeks ago.

Signed copies of Heinlein books go for a couple of thousand, unless they are the copies of Friday he signed at one of the cons. He signed lots of them and Friday is not considered a Heinlein classic.

Heinlein, “Unpleasant Profession..” Gnome Press, SIGNED – eBay (item 120522256485 end time Jan-31-10 13:06:55 PST).






January 24th, 2010

Old Newspaper Ads

I found this site that has extracts from the New York newspapers from the middle 1700s. They are a very interesting read. Here are a couple.

New York Mercury  December 12, 1763 My perfidious wife Catherine, by her disobedient and incontinent behavior towards me, hath obliged me in justice to my honor and fortune, to publish her as a disobedient and scandalous person, both in the New York papers, and on the most noted places of the town where I dwell, prohibiting all persons to trust her on my account, or to conceal or harbor her at their peril; yet she hath still persisted (in spite of age and infirmity) in the most shameful manner, to prostitute herself and my estate to the rapaciousness of those as infamously scandalous as herself; and hath eloped once, and again, robbing me of some hundred pounds worth in goods from my shop, which she hath prodigally dissipated to the ruin fully of my quiet, and almost of my fortune: and that this Catherine of Pollution, may be no longer seen than detested, I hereby specify her to be a thin spare small woman, having lost partly the use of her lest arm, and before finger of the same, is dead; usually wears a black patch under he left eye, to conceal a fistula, and is in the 53rd year of her age; and that she may carry her extravagance to the highest pitch, some times assumes the name of Catherine Fowler, and practices that art of peddling, selling partly the goods she hath thus robbed me of. These are therefore to assure any perform a reasonable reward that shall seize the goods she may be possessed as on my account, hereby warranting any lawful proceedings thereof. New-Branford, September 20, 1763. Patrick Hayes

New York Gazette  February 13, 1764 Whereas Oliver Loshier, on Friday last the 10th instant, very falsely advertised me as having eloped from his bed and board; that I had not only run him in debt, but was continuing to do so; and afterwards forewarns all persons either to credit or harbor me.—The public may be assured, that he very shamefully and abusively turned me out of his house on occasion of only a single and most trifling family occurrence which his impatience, (through liquor) could not overlook, when a more considerate personwould.—I also declare, I have neither run him, or attempted to run him in debt: nor do I intend it: –It is therefore a false and malicious advertisement. Elizabeth Loshier.






January 24th, 2010

Samuel Johnson Rejection

I had a story rejected this weekend and I felt bad about it until I read this rejection that the famous Samuel Johnson once penned:

“I am in the smallest room of my house, and your manuscript is before me. Soon it shall be behind me.”

Now that’s harsh.






January 24th, 2010

Nyack Snap – Squirrel of Nyack is back

I used to watch Squirrel’s blog for pictures of my home town. The blog seemed to be abandoned. Now Squirrel is back with a new blog.

Nyack Snap – photos of Nyack, NY.






January 23rd, 2010

Last Chance for the Hugo Awards

Time is running out to gain eligibility to nominate for the Hugo Awards! Nominations must be received by 13 March 2010. In order to participate, you must have purchased an Aussiecon 4 membership by 31 January 2010 or have been a member of the 2009 Worldcon, Anticipation. More information is available at http://www.aussiecon4.org.au/index.php?page=66

Vote for Bleak History by John Shirley. Vote for Shaun Lawton’s Freezine for best fanzine (only place he fits). Vote for Steve Davidson as best fan writer.

You only need a dozen or so votes to get on the ballot, so vote soon and vote often. You get to vote for 5 entries per category.

Please, Please, vote for my story The Nigerian Soul at AtomjackMagazine.com. I don’t expect to win a Hugo, but I do want to be nominated. Pay by paypal and mail in the form this weekend or it won’t get done.

It costs just $50 and you get about $125, at least, in free books, plus all that great worldcon bling in your mailbox.






January 23rd, 2010

Bad Weekend

Continuing the theme of this weekend, after a night where I was unable to sleep, I received a reject on my robot detective story. I guess the world is not ready for a robot detective. I will trunk it for another 5 years.

I am closing down Freenameastar. I’ll keep it open until next Saturday and then it is gone.