Inhuman Swill : Page 160
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

Spam spam spam spam

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It's 3:00 pm. Since 6:00 am my local spam filter has caught about 600 unsolicited commercial emails. And those are just the ones that made it through the server-level filter.

I've gotten about a dozen real emails in that same period. That's a 50:1 spam ratio.

The best subject line today? "Why did you tell her I was a sult?"

Probably because I made a typo.

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Court and spark

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Joni Mitchell rulez.

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Flower basket etiquette

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Okay, so a coworker's parent dies, and the office sends the coworker a flower basket, for which another coworker pays on her credit card. After the fact, the office manager asks everyone if they will contribute to the cost of the flower basket. With twelve contributors, it would be five dollars apiece. I write back and say, sure, I'll kick in five bucks, as do a few other folks.

However, the office manager writes back to say, "Don't pay yet. First we have to see how many people are willing to contribute. Then we'll split it up."

Well, sorry, but I signed on for five bucks. I'm not paying some arbitrary higher amount to carry the asses of the freeloaders. Or am I being unreasonable?

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1.2 warned to leave New Orleans

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That's right—that's the headline of this AP wire story running at Salon.com:

1.2 warned to leave New Orleans
I do hope that one-and-a-fifth person manages to get out of the Big Easy in time.
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Billy, watch the stairs!

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Am I the dumbass who complained a few weeks ago about how the Borders at Kips Bay had removed their music section without warning?

D'oh! There's an upper level, with wide stairs in plain view, and that's where the music section went to.

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Move to Astoria!

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You want to move to Astoria. You know you do. There's a beautiful house for rent that friends of ours own and are, extremely sadly, vacating:

Beautiful 3 level home in Astoria
The least we can do is try to get good people to fill the void. This means you!
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Final hours

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I'm exhausted. I've been working 12 to 14 hour days for most of a month. Ella even had to come to the office with me Tuesday evening because there just wasn't anything else to do with her. Our project launches September 8 and has suffered every imaginable setback, and as we push toward our delayed live date my contribution to the effort will be leaving to go to Boston for five days for WorldCon. As a matter of fact, I leave this afternoon. Laura was supposed to come too, but pretty much at the last minute our carefully arranged dogsitting plans completely dried up. So I'll be in Boston alone.

In the good news column, I did manage to polish up another draft of The Accidental Terrorist, which went in the mail Monday morning to the next potential agent. (Huge thanks to [info]bobhowe for a lot of good advice and helpful line editing.) My previous non-fiction agent, D., left the biz in the spring, pretty much orphaning the book. He suggested, however, that the head of the agency he had just left, J., might still be interested in the book. When I wrote J. earlier this month, he responded that he had just been looking for my email address, so I'm cautiously hopeful. This guy has a hell of a track record, so I'm now on tenterhooks.

I haven't had much time to get work done on the last tiniest little polishes to my novella "Inclination" thanks to the work situation. Maybe I can squeeze those in this weekend, because I'm very eager to send this thing off to Ellen Datlow at Sci Fiction.

Attention to friends has mostly fallen by the wayside this past month. I hope to change that in September. I now I've got to put my nose back to the grindstone, because I only have two and a half hours left to days five days' worth of work.

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"Good Lord, no"

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This morning Salon is reporting in an interview with Linda Allison that says her late husband, newspaperman and political consultant Jimmy Allison, got W. a job with the Red Blount campaign in Alabama as a favor to George Sr.:

George W. Bush's missing year Linda Allison's story, never before published, contradicts the Bush campaign's assertion that George W. Bush transferred from the Texas Air National Guard to the Alabama National Guard in 1972 because he received an irresistible offer to gain high-level experience on the campaign of Bush family friend Winton "Red" Blount. In fact, according to what Allison says her late husband told her, the younger Bush had become a political liability for his father, who was then the United States ambassador to the United Nations, and the family wanted him out of Texas. "I think they wanted someone they trusted to keep an eye on him," Linda Allison said....

Allison's account corroborates a Washington Post investigation in February that found no credible witnesses to the service in the Alabama National Guard that Bush maintains he performed, despite a lack of documentary evidence. Asked if she'd ever seen Bush in a uniform, Allison said: "Good lord, no. I had no idea that the National Guard was involved in his life in any way." Allison also confirmed previously published accounts that Bush often showed up in the Blount campaign offices around noon, boasting about how much alcohol he had consumed the night before....

"After about a month I asked Jimmy what was Georgie's job, because I couldn't figure it out. I never saw him do anything. He told me it basically consisted of him contacting people who were impressed by his name and asking for contributions and support," Allison said....

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Ben Barnes on "60 Minutes"?

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Salon is reporting today that former Texas lieutenant governor Ben Barnes will appear on 60 Minutes a week from Sunday to confirm that he pulled strings to get George W. Bush into the Texas Air National Guard during Vietnam:

Ben Barnes to break silence on "60 Minutes" Barnes, once a rising star in Texas politics, insists strings were pulled on Bush's behalf, and he helped pull them. Speaking to Kerry supporters in Austin, Texas, in May, he said, "I got a young man named George W. Bush into the Texas National Guard ... I got a lot of other people in the National Guard because I thought that was what people should do when you're in office, and you help a lot of rich people." Recalling a recent visit to the Vietnam Memorial, Barnes added, "I looked at the names of the people that died in Vietnam, and I became more ashamed of myself than I have ever been, because it was the worst thing I ever did, was help a lot of wealthy supporters and a lot of people who had family names of importance get into the National Guard. And I'm very sorry about that, and I'm very ashamed."  [more]
Barnes's admission is actually old news, but has barely been reported in the major media.

An ad view may be required to access the full story.

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Offer void where inhibited

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I was just over at www.theglenlivet.com, signing up to join The Glenlivet Society. I've joined a few of these single-malt scotch societies online—which, honestly, are nothing more than fancy marketing campaigns—but the cool thing about this one is that as a member you can get free customized Glenlivet labels to put on gift bottles.

There's also an offer of free leather coasters, and whilst I was signing up for those I happened to note the "Offer Details" at the bottom of the page. The very first sentence?

Offer not valid in Utah.
Oh, well, not like it affects me. And thanks to Stuart Piltch, friend in single-malts, for putting me onto the Society in the first place.
In other scotch news, Laura and I managed to meet up with Andrew and Stephanie at Kebab Cafe Sunday night for Egyptian food and birthday presents. Both Andrew and I had birthdays in the middle of August, but this was the first chance to get together. (And there are other birthday celebrations with other folks out there that are still on hold, thanks to the damn work schedule—but soon!)
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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

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