Things I learn from the Discovery Channel

Apparently there are people whose entire job is to literally squeeze the poop out of baby chicks, and somehow determine the sex of the chick by doing so.

Did you know that? I sure didn’t.

I am in constant awe at the amount of crazy shit that I still don’t know about this world.

posted 12/18/07 at 3:21pm to Science!, Teevee · 0 replies · permalink

I’m sorry, Ludwig

Crippling.  Writer’s.  Block.  Today.

Not your usual passive variety, mind you, but the skull-crushingly frustrating kind.  The kind where you feel like an amnesia victim, with the entirety of your forgotten lifetime just out of sight behind that enormous mental dam.  And the dam is cracking, but not fast enough.  Or something1.

So while I go off to bang my head for a while (possibly literally), please to be enjoying this Don Music skit.  It always makes me feel better in these situations.

  1. See? Even my analogies suck right now.
posted 12/18/07 at 8:44am to Me me me, Writing · 0 replies · permalink

All I Want For Christmas is a Miniaturized Particle Accelerator

Dear Santa,

See that line there on my Christmas list, where it says “Guitar Hero III”..? Well, um, if it’s not too late, just cross that out and replace it with “desktop synchrotron”.

Then again, perhaps I could build one myself, as it uses simply “a laser, some gas, and a row of magnets”. Looks like I’m heading to Radio Shack today.

posted 12/12/07 at 8:51am to Geekery, Science! · 0 replies · permalink

Notes and errata

So, yeah.

Even though the front page doesn’t reflect it, things have been far from quiet here at Delgrosso Dot Com World Headquarters.  And though no one probably gives a crap anyway, I’ll throw you a few disjointed updates.  You’re welcome.

1) Blog content.  Yeah.  See, I’ve embarked upon something I call the Consolidation Project.  What that means is that I’m basically tired of blogging in no less than four places – personal stuff here at my site, political stuff pseudonymously over at The Big Orange and another progressive activism blog, and other stuff semi-anonymously at a couple of writing-related places and one film geekery site.  It just takes too much time and effort to “segment” for different audiences like that, so I’m going to begin putting all of my bloggy content here on the front page of ddc and then link outward when and where appropriate.

To be completely honest, that’s a risky proposition for many reasons, and is largely why I’ve avoided it for so long.  This site serves as a hub for me both personally and professionally; it’s read by friends, family, editors, colleagues, producers, and complete strangers.  Once you start really putting yourself out there and attaching your name to everything, you run the risk of surprising, shocking, or even alienating part of your readership with any given post.  The more diverse the content (and audience), the greater that risk becomes.  I guarantee I’m going to bristle several people with my perspectives and commentary on various non-writing-related topics, but I’m entitled to be who I am, and that’s how things are going to progress from here.  A writer spends his entire career honing a voice, and that voice is informed by the gestalt of that writer’s life; experiences, fears, desires, dreams, failures, opinions, and overall worldview.  I think it’s a disservice to myself and my readers—any of you—to hold any of that back the way I’ve been doing for the past few years here.  But first:

2) Blog structure.  Okay, I’ll admit that I’m not as much of a geek as I used to be, and therefore have neither the time nor the CSS mojo to keep things looking fresh and working correctly.  I’m not a designer, I’m not a programmer, and the things I’ve wanted to achieve with Movable Type just require too much “under the hood” effort for me.  So I’m experimenting with a WordPress installation on my server.  Once I can tweak a template to look decent enough (whereby “decent” I mean “clean and simple”), I’ll migrate over to that, and then the Consolidation Project will be in full swing.  I know you’re tempted to ask, “Hey, bigshot writer guy, why don’t you just pay someone to do the design work for you?”  The easiest answer to that question is that I am cheap.  Though I am also lazy, and therefore often tempted to hire someone to just Do It For Me to spare me the headaches.  However the nexus of my sloth and frugality is a terrifying place where the normal laws of space and time do not apply.

3) The WGA strike.  Frankly I still don’t want/need to talk about it.  I’ve got a couple of pieces about it in a half-written state, but they verge on the insufferably polemical, and honestly there’s nothing I really have to add to the conversation that hasn’t been said already at some other site with far more influence than mine (whereby “far more” I mean “any”).  The bottom line for me is that as a D-list spec monkey I’ve got plenty of other things to be working on, but I had to shelve a big project that I was rather excited about.  Also, mindshare is essential when you’re not a top writer in a producer’s rolodex, which means that after a few months of not networking or schlepping specs around or “hocking my wares” as it were, I’ll be left with a long row to hoe to rebuild momentum in that regard. [ heavy sigh ]

4) I do have several other non-freelance projects going on.  Short fiction, mostly; I’ve got a few concepts that have been rattling around in my head for a while that I’ve shoved into Moleskines and forgotten about.  I’ve had the time to revisit them lately and some of them are surprisingly workable.  Also, I suppose the “good news” is that the spec I was working on is one that thankfully lends itself to adaptation into prose (that’s rare in my experience), so I’ve been picking around the edges of it, trying to scope out a way to hammer it into a manuscript of novella-length.  Much procrastination on that front.  Again, the laziness.

Thanks for indulging me, kids.  More to follow.  But for now, back to the snark.

posted 12/11/07 at 12:38pm to Me me me, Site stuff, Writing · 0 replies · permalink