Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

The long flat stretches you see on the graph below are due to (1) laziness, (2) OryCon, and (3) Thanksgiving, respectively:

That's all for now. More on this later, over at LJ.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "Lost in the Snow"

Snowstorms are nature's way of saying, "It's winter. Deal with it."

Read "Lost in the Snow" at 512 Words or Fewer


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

SnoutCast #43: "Ghost Patrol BANG Debriefing"

This week: a roundtable debriefing with the crew behind Ghost Patrol BANG! Thanks to Brian, David, Greg, Jenn, Jesse, Matt, and Rachel for chatting with me in DeeAnn's absence.

[ Download mp3 - 44 MB ]

00:59 - introductions
02:30 - whence Ghost Patrol BANG?
05:50 - wedding first, Game later
07:53 - Desert Taxi + lowkey = crazy delicious
12:18 - SHaRC vs. OWL
14:40 - application expectation
18:06 - simulcasting
22:40 - the consequences of over-preparation
25:50 - production value enablers
28:57 - "But it's still a paper puzzle...right?"
33:05 - the new kid on the block
35:15 - GC roll call: Greg
35:50 - GC roll call: Jesse
36:29 - GC roll call: Brian
38:07 - GC roll call: Jenn
40:11 - GC roll call: David
41:50 - GC roll call: Matt
43:15 - GC roll call: Rachel
44:19 - what's next?
44:58 - get your own Puzzled Pint franchise!
45:21 - upcoming events: Iron Puzzler (winter)
47:30 - The End

Music: instrumentals from "Code Monkey" and "Skullcrusher Mountain" by Jonathan Coulton

[ Subscribe to SnoutCast / iTunes link ]

CKL Brian David Greg Jenn Jesse Matt Rachel

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "Vampires of New York"

Old Jewish men amuse me. But you probably knew that.

And, once again, you can't copyright a title.


Read "Vampires of New York" at 512 Words or Fewer


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fifteen Authors


Today was the third time I've been tagged in one of these notes by Facebook friends, so I finally caved and made the damn list. I'm posting it here because I see no reason not to share it with the whole world:

XV Auteurs

Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors who've influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes...

1. Isaac Asimov - I read every damn robot story I could get my hands on in middle school.
2. Ray Bradbury - I don't remember anything specific about Dandelion Wine, but I get a certain ineffable feeling whenever I think about it.
3. Harlan Ellison - probably wouldn't want to run into him on the street, but "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" is a classic.
4. Dan Simmons - yeah, the Hyperion cantos gets a little crazy at times, but it's an amazing epic.
5. Pat Murphy - one of the pro instructors in my first writing workshop.
6. Ursula K. LeGuin - the other pro instructor in my first writing workshop.
7. Connie Willis - I don't need to explain this one, do I? It's Connie Willis!
8. Neil Gaiman - personal trivia: I used to work with his son Michael at Google. Nice kid.
9. Daniel Keyes - "Flowers for Algernon," which my high school produced as a one-act play.
10. Robert Heinlein - I couldn't believe how well Have Spacesuit, Will Travel worked as a novel, but it did.
11. John LeCarre - I always found his politics and relationships more interesting than Ian Fleming's derring-do.
12. Larry Niven - the recipient of my first actual fan mail (and request to reprint some of his old non-fiction in our high school club zine. He said yes! My faculty sponsor talked me out of it).
13. Vonda N. McIntyre - I used to read a lot of Star Trek novels.
14. Douglas Adams - the Hitchhiker's books, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Are You Being Served?, and Red Dwarf forever altered my sense of humor in high school.
15. Orson Scott Card - again, not sure I'd want to meet him in person anymore, but Ender's Game is unforgettable. And Speaker for the Dead was even better. Don't talk to me about your subtext conspiracy theories.


SnoutCast #42: "The Muppet Movie Game Update"

This week: a conversation with Red Byer and Teresa Torres, co-captains of team Orange Snood and both still planning to run The Muppet Game. Real Soon Now!

[ Download mp3 - 44 MB ]

00:58 - "cool"
01:25 - introductions
01:40 - so what's up with The Muppet Movie Game?
03:01 - GC blogging at muppetmoviegame.com, 2008-2009
06:13 - "so what is the right way to find locations?"
07:12 - history: Know Nothings + Orange Crush = Orange Snood
15:23 - "so your GC is [only] three people?"
20:46 - avoiding over-commitment with new GC members
24:27 - seriously, what's up with The Muppet Movie Game?
25:40 - what about Wes?
28:51 - the older and wiser GC
32:33 - specialization and clue creation
37:57 - it's The Muppet Movie, not a Muppets movie
40:07 - Happy Birthday, Dagny!
40:53 - Go Sharks!
41:43 - still alive: http://muppetmoviegame.com/bog/
42:15 - the blog is NOT a Clue
48:13 - The End

Music: instrumentals from "Code Monkey" and "You Ruined Everything" by Jonathan Coulton

[ Subscribe to SnoutCast / iTunes link ]

CKL DeeAnn Teresa Red Tye

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "Gone But Not Forgotten"

As often happens in November, I'm probably going to cheat the next few weeks of 512s by pulling excerpts from my NaNoWriMo novel-in-progress.

Astute readers will notice that this piece features the same protagonist as "Working Graves: Habeas Corpus" (soon to be a longer story), and that the character first appeared on this blog back in 1999. That first story (still unpublished) was also the one I took to Viable Paradise in 2008.

Griffin's been with me a long while, and I think he's ready for prime time. We'll see how this novel turns out.

Read "Gone But Not Forgotten" at 512 Words or Fewer


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

SnoutCast #41: "Let's Talk Shinteki"

This week's guests: Linda and Brent Holman, pillars of the Bay Area Game community, tell us about the happy habit which has become Shinteki. (You may also notice that they live near the N Judah rail line.)

[ Download mp3 - 36 MB ]

00:00 - zomby kitteh teaser
01:08 - "lugubrious"
01:33 - in the beginning: Stanford Games
02:25 - "she's regretted it ever since" and what happened with Hogwarts Game
07:02 - "I couldn't have imagined not running a Game"
08:03 - how to choose your college major
10:09 - "what I never did learn was how not to run a Game"
11:07 - starting the business: Just Passing Through, established 2001
15:03 - the origin of "just passing through"
17:25 - on not turning Jackpot Game into a TV show
19:12 - today: the Shinteki empire
23:17 - the voices of experience
25:16 - on running age-appropriate events for children
27:17 - advice for new GCs
29:00 - are day games now more popular than full-weekend events?
30:22 - re-runs, e.g., Decathlon on consecutive weekends
32:16 - we love our volunteers
33:12 - hire Shinteki! (PDF brochure)
35:00 - upcoming events: Puzzled Pint tonight!
38:45 - The End

Music: instrumentals from "Code Monkey" and "The Future Soon" by Jonathan Coulton

[ Subscribe to SnoutCast / iTunes link ]

CKL DeeAnn Brent Linda

Friday, November 05, 2010

Postcards #53 and 54

Two more from Karl, whose recent travels also prompted this e-mail exchange:

K: I think I've had about enough complexity for today, just making it from my apartment in London to my hotel in Paris completely by public transit.

J: I can't be the only person who read this and thought, "Boo effing hoo," right? :-D


Friday Flash Fiction: "Up in the Air"

As you know, Bob, you can't copyright a title.

Read "Up in the Air" at 512 Words or Fewer


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Postcard #52

Another Google doodle postcard! This one's from Rich, who--by pure coincidence--was also our guest on SnoutCast this week.


SnoutCast #40: "Supplies!"

In which we recruit Rich Bragg, captain of team Blood & Bones, to answer a question posed by loyal listener Scott.

[ Download mp3 - 41 MB ]

00:58 - "well-equipped"
01:08 - Listener Mail: Scott asks about supplies!
01:27 - ...and Blood & Bones' "somewhat outdated" Supplies List
03:30 - welcome to special guest Rich Bragg
04:15 - as seen on Ghost Patrol: coed astronomy's B&B costumes
05:20 - a brief history of Blood & Bones (and "drinking division")
07:36 - how the B&B supplies list got started in 2001
11:00 - are walkie-talkies useful?
13:44 - organizing equipment inside the van
16:21 - is preparedness a competitive advantage?
22:03 - Rich misses the element of resourcefulness
23:37 - teams without vans in the 420 game
28:26 - how have smartphones changed The Game?
30:29 - DeeAnn cares the most about food
32:46 - has resourcefulness gone out of style? "it's kind of like searching for Clues"
34:46 - actually, searching for Clues: not all that much fun, and not quite the same as resourcefulness
38:38 - different kinds of "resourcefulness"
40:09 - Jasper has something to say
41:02 - "see how resourceful you are?"
41:57 - Rich's day job: what's cool about Google TV
43:06 - upcoming events: Puzzled Pint (11/9, Portland)
44:32 - The End

Music: instrumentals from "Code Monkey" and "Re: Your Brains" by Jonathan Coulton

[ Subscribe to SnoutCast / iTunes link ]

CKL DeeAnn Jasper