I tend to believe in Bigfoot.

I know that’s a little weird, but here’s the thing: over time, there have been literally thousands of sightings and encounters with something that, if it’s not actually “Bigfoot”, is close enough for me.  And if Bigfoot doesn’t exist, that means that every single one of the people who claims to have seen one is either wrong or lying (note that I include drunk, crazy, and tricked under “wrong”, along with “actually saw a bear, but the light was bad” and that sort of thing).

The Patterson-Gilman film (this is the famous one, you have almost undoubtedly seen it) shows a figure that just doesn’t move like a human, at least as far as I’m concerned; those who claim it’s a guy in a monkey suit seem to me to have forgotten that the damn thing was shot in 1967.  It’s not at all clear to me that we could come up with a suit that sophisticated now, almost 45 years later, and even if a special-effects house could have managed it then, could Patterson?

Bigfoot would have to be pretty smart, like chimp-level smart, and all it would take would be a species-level awareness that humans are Bad News for the critters to start using that smart to stay the heck away from us.  And even these days there’s plenty of wild for such an animal to hang out in.

So yeah, I tend to believe in Bigfoot.  Nessie, not so much.

Needle Envy

It’s blogs like this that make me want to cover my entire house in embroidered stuff.  Handkerchiefs, wall hangings, pillowcases, tableclothes, you name it.

I doubt I would actually like the effect, but that doesn’t stop me wanting to make the stuff.

Ceci N’est Pas

I find this absolutely hilarious, and if I had an Apple laptop to put it on I’d buy it in a second.

Cold Inside

Sunday afternoon as I was unplugging my computer I noticed that the air blowing on my feet was not actually warm.  This explained why it was so chilly in my house–53°F–and why turning the thermostat up had not made it any warmer.  In fact, as I processed the fact that my furnace was blowing non-warm air, it occurred to me that the blower had been on pretty much all day, as the heating system tried valiantly to live up to the expectations being put on it.

It turns out that the furnace has a switch in it that turns off its ability to heat if it gets too warm somehow, and that sometimes the switch gets stuck.  The furnace guy showed up with admirable promptness to unstick it, but recommended that I get a new one as soon as possible, as one failure often leads to another.

It seems that the initial problem was caused by not having changed the furnace filter recently enough.  I did put in a new one when the cold weather started, but my house is old and dusty so I’m going to have to keep a better eye on things in the future.

I’m glad it was an easy fix, but I could have wished for a less expensive one.


Because what I need in my life right now is a fanfiction plotbunny.  Thank you, oh Muse.

3720 to One

I’m gonna do it: I’m gonna check the archives for Dresden Files fic.  I’ll bet five bucks there’s a Harry/Thomas fic on the first page.

Never mind that Thomas is the only White Court vampire who seems to be straight, or that Harry definitly is, or that they’re half-brothers; someone will have them sleeping together.  Because that’s how fanfic works.

Two Dresdens

SPOILERS here for both TV and book versions of the Dresden Files!

I watched the first few episodes of the SyFy¹ channel’s Dresden Files last night.  I was dubious.  I really like the books, and there were a number of cosmetic changes that annoyed me in what I’d caught of the show when it was running–Murphy, for example, is Latina and her first name’s Constanza (I assume Murphy is her married name).  Bob isn’t just a spirit; he’s the ghost of someone old and at least formerly evil, and he can manifest a visible though intangible body².   Harry carries a hockey stick as his staff, a drumstick as his wand, and his office seems to be a desk set up in his living room–that kind of thing.

However, watching the episodes has made me feel better about the whole enterprise.  For one thing, Paul Blackthorn (which is a perfect name for someone playing Harry Dresden) has a great ability to come out with the kind of corny lines Harry’s always spouting without sounding like a moron; he sells the character brilliantly, if with a little less wisecracking than I’d like.  Even when we first meet him, Harry is not perhaps the most stable of individuals; Blackthorn makes that obvious without making him seem dangerous…at least to people who don’t deserve it.

The show plays down Harry’s antagonism with Morgan.  In the books, most of Storm Front involves Harry trying to stay one step ahead of Morgan’s insistance, in the face of all evidence, that he’s the one murdering people; in the show, Morgan has just showed up in the fourth episode and while he’s still a suspicious bastard he’s not completely irrational on the subject of Harry’s evilness.  He’s not giving the benefit of the doubt or anything, but he’ll take reasonable proof.

One change I thought interesting: Harry’s evil mentor, Justin DuMorne, has been morphed into Harry’s evil (maternal, naturally) uncle.  Also he seems to have survived Harry having “self-defensed him to death”, which as of Changes he hasn’t done in the novels.

I suspect that by the time I’m done I’m going to be sad that Skiffy cut this series, because it’s shaping up to be interesting.

1: At the time, it was still the SciFi channel.  And should have stayed that way.

2: I’ll grant that the fact that the visible body’s being played by Terrence Mann does a great deal to alleviate my annoyance on this score.


I’m reading a very nifty book right now, The Code Book by Simon Singh, because I’m fascinated by codes and ciphers and stuff.  And one of the things that strikes me is how much really secure cryptology depends on the level of computing technology.  You just can’t have PGP or the like without a computer; it would take too much effort.  There’d be no way to encode the message, transmit it, and have it decoded in anything like a reasonable amount of time.

This is one of the reasons I love steganography.  When the enemy has no reason to suspect a message even exists, they can’t decode it…

I have more thoughts on this subject, but they will have to wait for later.

Health and Safety Tip

In the past month or two, I’ve finally noticed a correllation that should have been blindingly obvious much earlier. I think it wasn’t because the cultural mindset is not used to cause and effect going the way it goes in this theory.

Have you ever noticed how much the physical symptoms of being cold resemble those of being sad, anxious, scared, despairing? Even some kinds of anger look a lot like being cold. Thus, I propose a quick experiment: the next time you’re sitting somewhere in the winter feeling emotionally cruddy, do something to warm up* and see if it makes your brain feel better too.

It doesn’t usually occur to me to think of my body affecting my mind, but it manifestly does.  And cold is insidious; you don’t always consciously notice it. 

It’s amazing how much my mood can be improved with a cup of tea.

*: Hot drinks, more clothes, warm shower, whatever works.

Geek Talk

I Am A: Chaotic Good Human Bard (4th Level)

Ability Scores:

Chaotic Good A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he’s kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society. Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit. However, chaotic good can be a dangerous alignment because it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Bards often serve as negotiators, messengers, scouts, and spies. They love to accompany heroes (and villains) to witness heroic (or villainous) deeds firsthand, since a bard who can tell a story from personal experience earns renown among his fellows. A bard casts arcane spells without any advance preparation, much like a sorcerer. Bards also share some specialized skills with rogues, and their knowledge of item lore is nearly unmatched. A high Charisma score allows a bard to cast high-level spells.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)