June 25th, 2007


Hey, I Didn't Order This!

A Beautiful Weekend... Not

Last week the weather forecasters for West Michigan were talking about how the heat would break until about Tuesday, and that it'd be dry with the first real chance of rain coming Tuesday -- thunderstorms to break the 96degF forecast heat. Gee, highs in the 70s, overnights in the 50s and 60s, and dry? Sounds like I'd have a lovely weekend. Perfect for writing a final exam and trying to churn out some stories to markets.

Twas not to be.

Excuse me? What part of 70s and dry is included in 86degF and solid muggy humidity? This is not pleasant and comfortable. Uh-uh. This is seal up the house and hope the A.C. can restore some sanity whilst pulling out some of the moisture mode. It's the too-muggy-to-open-the-windows-at-night but too cool outside for the compressor to stay active with the A.C. so the house becomes rather stale at night and uncomfortable for sleeping weather.

Sucks. They, the local weather people, got it seriously wrong in my estimation. Or sold us a bill of goods, which is closer to what happened. Phooey! Psffftbt!

Um, Excuse Me?

On today's drive in, I heard not one but two commercials on different stations which seemed to be in a timewarp of some kind. The first was for gifts for Father's Day -- I guess we're supposed to stock up early for 2008? The second was for the Grand Rapids big arts Festival -- which was the first weekend of June, not the last.

It drives me crazy when things aren't pulled out of ad rotation on time. I cringe to listen to radio and TV right after elections, because it's always the case that the awful campaign ads are never quite over.

A Changeover At Writers of the Future

My 2nd Quarter 2007 entry to WOTF "End Run" came back on Saturday, earning an Honorable Mention. An earlier, admittedly unfinished version of "End Run" was my Q4 2006 entry to WOTF, so this story has earned both a Quarter-Finalist and an Honorable Mention. (grin) A couple of us are figuring that this is what used to be called a Quarter-Finalist. Now usually I'm opposed to change for changes sake, but I think this may actually be a good call. Looking at the old text for a Quarter-Finalist letter, it really is confusing to have both Quarter-Finalists and Finalists for the current quarter. One is hearty backslap you did okay to finish near the top of the pile, the other is one step removed from the Prizes and keeps you eligible for publication. Looks like WOTF is keeping the Semi-Finalist and Finalist designations.

Now that WOTF is using a blog to disseminate up-to-date information, it does a body good to know how special those Finalist and Semi-Finalist "wins" really are. For Q2 2007, they had 10 Semi-Finalists and 8 Finalists from whom the 3 prize winners would be pulled. The numbers for Q1 2007 were slightly different, as I recall. So it really does come down to judging and not just a numbers game. I'm cool with that.

Some Work Did Happen

"End Run" got a stiff rewrite and went out this morning to Gordon Van Gelder at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. At 17,000 words, it's the longest story I've sent him for a while. And the Final Exam for Tuesday is written. They haven't got a chance... (giggle) Should've had more comfortable writing exam weather on Sunday evening... (sn*rt)

Dr. Phil
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Back Slowly Away From The Computer

My Geek Fu Is Working Without Me

One of Gmail's "features" is the sponsored link advertising that is supposed to be context sensitive to what you're writing about. It's easy to ignore, but sometimes it is amusing what comes up, especially when an email exchange includes some squirrelly terms. However, I'd just sent an e-mail to Mrs. Dr. Phil when I saw the following sponsored link just above my current mail listings:

日本の味を即配達 - www.jagajagamall.com - アメリカで日本の商品ネット通販 日本食、肉

I have no idea what I did to trigger this or what search terms they were looking for. I was just talking about writing a final exam and editing the story I sent to F&SF today.

Really, officer, honest!

Dr. Phil
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    Sorcerer/Tangerine Dream