Um, who is Jamie Lynn Spears, and why does anyone care that she’s pregnant?
I just can’t quite get into Twitter. I’ve got Twitterfox installed on my Firefox browser, but I don’t really use it all that much. I don’t really have the time (or window space) to keep a constant monitor on what’s being talked about. It’s much more efficient and effective for me to communicate via chat or email than it is by Twitter. It probably doesn’t help much, either, that very few of my friends use Twitter. Most of my Twitterpeeps are folks I’ve ‘met’ via the Web, and while I find some of the Tweets interesting, very few spark enough interest for me to hop into the discussion and add my two cents.
I think the idea behind Twitter has a lot of potential. The could, ideally, make it really easy for a bunch of people to engage in an ongoing discussion simply by tweeting each other back and forth. Trouble is getting enough like-minded people together to actually do so.
Still, Twitterfox is unobtrusive, so I’ll keep it right it’s at. Interesting notes and links do pop up from time to time, so that’s good, too. But it’s more of a peripheral service for me at this point. Maybe someone will add an account option to Pidgin for Twitter that will let me keep a running dialogue of tweets from folks I follow going at all times that will make it really easy to go back and see what’s been said recently.
I finished up listening to 7th Son this morning on my way to work, and it was a little like what I imagine it must feel like to come down off a high. Three novels’ worth of hard-hitting, gut-wrenching action ends with a bittersweet goodbye to our heroes and a feeling of loss that says, _Oh, great. What am I supposed to listen to_ now_?_ I just wanted to keep on listening, to stay with these characters that I’ve come to love so well. J.C. has certainly done a fabulous job of weaving his tale of science fiction, horror, and intrigue, and I hope that he is successful in getting the trilogy into print. I know I’ll have a copy of the set on my bookshelf as soon as he does.
And the man is just sick in the way he doesn’t let up on you. Even in the final chapter, he doesn’t let you find complete resolution. It’s close, but not close enough. And the epilogue, of course, just leaves the lid off of _that_ can of worms ever so slightly. Leaving your foot in the door for a possible follow-up are we, J.C.? Hm? Man, that _would_ be a joyride of undoubtedly epic proportions.
If you haven’t checked out _7th Son_, then you’re missing out. Go click on the link above and start downloading and listening. Or grab J.C.’s iTunes feed from his website and pull it directly into your iPod. It’s good stuff – just like shooting up on heroin. (I’m guessing…)
With thanks to Rob for pointing me in the right direction, Shamus Writes is now sporting a modified, Web 2.0-ish look. I contacted Ant Eksiler, who is giving away free custom WordPress themes to folks who meet a certain set of criteria, and he took my Bluesands theme and tweaked it to give it a slightly cleaner, more glossy look. So, my thanks go to Ant for his hard work (and for sorting through my stylesheet) and putting the finishing touches on my theme. I’ve also added credits for him in both the theme’s footer and stylesheet.
So, what do you think?
Well, that went well. I took my GREs again this past Saturday, since my previous set of scores had exceeded their shelf-life by about a year. It took me about three hours to complete the exam, which is actually about an hour longer than I expected it to take (of course, I hadn’t expected to do _two_ Quantitative sections, either).
The first test I took was during the fall of 2001, my fourth year of college. I was carrying a full credit load, working 30+ hours in the cafeteria, and burned way the heck out. I did pretty ok on the Verbal section (550) and crushed the Analytical (730). The Quantitative, however, messed me up. Let’s just say that a score of 540 on the Quantitative is not competitive – not at all. That score got me ranked in only the 37th percentile for that section. I was fortunate, though, to be able to still get into graduate school and pick up my first Master’s degree.
This time around, I scored a 580 on the Verbal – still not as high as I would have liked, but still decent. The Quantitative was a different story. I boosted my score by 140 points from the first time, landing at a nice, solid 680. That’s much more competitive and should make it that much easier to land a position in Purdue’s doctoral program. I won’t know about my Analytical Writing until the official scores come in, but I’m optimistic.
So, I’m now in the process of completing my application for the Statistics doctoral program at Purdue University. I’m fairly hopeful that I’ll have the credentials to get in and that I’ll be able to start classes this coming fall. I’m kind of excited about this!
Well, I suppose winter is finally here, even though the actual equinox doesn’t occur for a couple of weeks yet. We had our first snowfall yesterday, accumulating somewhere between 3 and 4 inches, and the temps last night dropped down to a frigid zero degrees. On the up side, that meant that when I got up to feed the horses this morning, the landscape outside was decked out in a half-inch of frost that stood out on branches, bushes, and high-tensile fenceline in a gorgeous manner. Wish I’d had my camera – and enough light that it would have it worthwhile.
Ok, I’m done. Can we have Spring back now?
Ok, no offense, folks, but don’t believe everything you’re forwarded. There are a LOT of urban legends floating around the Internet. Most of them have been there in some form or another for 20 or 30 years. Pranksters just take old hoaxes, mix them up a little, change a tiny bit of information, and reissue it again. And the same people who fell for the first one fall for the new iteration, not recognizing the hoax from the first go-round, and then they suck other poor saps in. It’s all kind of silly.
A good rule of thumb is this – be skeptical, of everything. If it’s been forwarded to you by someone else, even someone you consider to be reliable and trustworthy, consider the forwarded material suspect. Chances are good – _very_ good – that your friend or contact just got sucked into another email (or Facebook, or IM, or MySpace, etc.) hoax. Take a few minutes to Google the subject of the forward, check out “Snopes.com”:http://www.snopes.com. I’d be willing to bet you’ll find the very same forward you just received catalogued there somewhere, with either a Status of true or false. Chances are good it will be false. (A little hint: out of the dozens of email forwards I’ve researched over the years, all but one have proven to be hoaxes.) It won’t hurt anything for you hold off on forwarding it again while you research, and your odds are good that taking those few moments will save you the embarrassment of looking like a fool.
I have a hard and fast rule – don’t send me forwards, _especially_ ones that ask you to read and forward to 5 (10, 15, 30…) people as fast as you can. That kind of tripe is _always_ spam fodder, and I know _I_ don’t want to have to deal with it. Things that you think I might find interesting or amusing are always welcome, of course, but discretion is key. I just encourage you to exercise your mind and check things out before just blindly sending something along. Pranksters get their jollies out of making people look silly, and silly people keep the pranksters in business.
I’m tickled pink. I used to use a Greasemonkey script with Gmail that added colors to labels. Later, I changed to the Better Gmail addon that simply made every label a bright red. Easy to see, served the purpose. Trouble was, that was one script that made loading Gmail take longer than it probably ought.
So, I pleasantly surprised to discover a couple of days ago that Google had added the option to color your labels. And even better they’ve provided a limited (24) but stylish set of colors that blend well, rather than clashing with everything else on the page. Suddenly my inbox is dressing a little flashier than before, and it’s become easy again to find specific emails of note.
Ok, this is amusing. I just noticed on my Facebook news feed that someone joined a group called “I Secretly Want To Punch Slow Walking People In The Back Of The Head.” What’s amusing about this is that once you join a group, it shows up in your profile, where everyone can see it. HaHAH, sucka’. Not so secret _now_, is it?
“Check it out”:http://www.apexdigest.com/Online/review071203.shtml – my first set of book reviews for someone other than myself. Awhile back, Jason Sizemore, the editor-in-chief of “Apex Digest”:http://www.apexdigest.com put out a call for a part-time book reviewer. I responded, gave him some past samples of a couple of books reviews I’ve done here, and then he shipped a book to me. It scored a bonus because it was actually one of those two-books-in-one deals. The results of that can now be seen at the link above. Hopefully, this will work out well on a monthly basis. I enjoyed reading the books and writing the reviews, so I’m looking forward to doing more of them in the near future.