Inhuman Swill : Page 25
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.
            

Epidode #55 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill explains how you can bid to win your very own privately printed copy of his memoir The Accidental Terrorist. Listen up! (Or simply click here to learn more and bid now.)

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=55

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Hey, Chicagoans! I just want to give you a quick heads-up that I will be appearing as part of the Essay Fiesta reading series at The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square this coming Monday, December 19th, at 7:00 pm.

It'll be my third time reading at Essay Fiesta, a monthly charitable reading series that benefits 826CHI, a non-profit writing and tutoring program here in Chicago, and I'm very excited to be asked back. Hosts Alyson Lyon and Keith Ecker (both of whom have read for us at Tuesday Funk) do a fantastic job of putting together a great program every month. Also appearing on Monday will be Dana Norris, J.H. Palmer, Jennifer Bosworth, and Eric Bjorlin. I hope you'll turn out and support the whole gang.

The Book Cellar, I should mention, is a wonderful place for a reading. It's a lovely independent bookstore and café, with beer, wine, and coffee available during their events. The reading itself is free, with fun prizes raffled and donation accepted on behalf of 826CHI. Show up early to be sure of a seat.

I look forward to seeing you there!

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So there I was, screaming at this old lady I didn't know.

You have to picture the scene. It's late afternoon and I'm driving to the gym, a medical fitness center affiliated with a local hospital. I'm about to turn into the members-only parking lot, but the driveway is blocked by a big car that's stopped halfway to the gate. I can see the little old lady behind the wheel rummaging through something, no doubt looking for the pass that goes into the scanner to open the gate.

Fifteen seconds go by. Thirty. A minute. I honk. The old lady waves her arm at me angrily. I honk again, gesturing. She waves again. I start yelling. I'm screaming at the top of my lungs.

Now, I don't generally make a practice of yelling at old people. But what I was trying to communicate to her was the fact that the gate was standing open the whole time.

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Louis C.K. gets it

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Louis C.K. is one smart dude. He's not just one of the best standup comics working. He's also a writer, producer, director, and entrepreneur who's been making films for a long, long time. His FX series Louie—essentially a tenuously related string of short films—is the logical culmination of that interest. He even edits the series himself.

But standup is his main bag, and today Louis started offering his brand-new concert video, Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon, at his website. Exclusively at his website. Streamable or downloadable. Completely DRM-free.

For five bucks.

This shouldn't seem like such a revolutionary idea, but for the movie and television industries it is. With all the hysteria over piracy in those quarters, it takes a smart, iconoclastic guy with the power to do his own thing to do something so simple and obvious.

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The stations of the crossposter

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First, let me say that most of you aren't going to care about this.

To the few of you who do, let me say that my long LiveJournal nightmare is over.

Not that I have as bad an opinion of LiveJournal as some, but the fact that it had been my primary blogging platform for so long was holding me back from bringing all my blogs together under one roof. As I posted on Saturday, I'd written scripts a long time ago to let me crosspost my LiveJournal entries to my Movable Type blog, but now I wanted to switch that around and go the other direction. I wanted to be able to use Movable Type's superior content management system to work on more than one entry at a time, and to schedule them for automatic posting at future dates. It was only once I began looking into my options that I realized finding a solution would mean I could crosspost to LiveJournal from all my blogs. Bonus.

Interestingly, it was people I know who led me to the answer. My very first Google search led me to this 2008 post from Ben Rosenbaum, who was looking for a similar solution, and Tempest Bradford served it up in the very first comment. She pointed me toward a Movable Type plugin by Chip Marshall called ljcrosspost that sounded perfect. Several other sites praised it highly. The only problem was, site where the source code was archived no longer existed.

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New short fiction: "Stand Up"

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A brand-new short story of mine, "Stand Up," is available now at the group blog This May Get Awkward:

"Stand Up"

The good folks at TMGA (in the person of the estimable JD Adamski, an MVP of the Tuesday Funk reading series I co-produce) asked me a while back to contribute a story, and I'm glad I finally had a chance to oblige them. I hope you like it. It's short.

"Yeah—mothers," said the comedian, running a hand through his sparse hair. "Don't you just hate 'em?"

Uncertain charges of laughter detonated here and there around the club. It was all in the delivery, and in the modest credit he'd accrued up to now with the audience.  [read more]
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Rabbit transit

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Rabbits, I would like to sit you down and have a very serious discussion with you. I understand that the way you zigzag as you flee is an effective way to evade most predators, and has served you well for millions of years. But when your zigzag pattern is no wider than the car following you, it only causes problems in both sides.

So in the future, rabbits, when confronted by a car, please consider bending your course in a direction perpendicular to your original course of travel. Either that or next time I may just do my best to hasten the evolution of your species. And I'll feel badly about it.

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RerunJournal

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I've been on LiveJournal a long time. I joined in October of 2000, more than eleven years ago. I've posted more than 2,000 entries. If you go to my profile page, you'll see that my user ID (17832) is in the low five digits. If you were to create a new account today, you'd get an eight-digit user ID. I obviously haven't been here since the very beginning, but I've been here long enough. I have a lot invested here. But I'm thinking hard about abandoning LiveJournal as my primary blogging platform.

I'm not going to rehash all the changes in management and ownership that have plagued us here over the years, the privacy concerns, the outages and denial-of-service attacks. That all contributes, but the biggest problem I've come to have with LiveJournal is simply the lack of some basic features that most other major blogging platforms feature. And two of the biggest of those are the inability to save more than one in-progress blog entry at once, and the inability to schedule completed entries for future posting.

Over at my personal site, I'm running a Movable Type blog. I know it's not the best choice out there, but it's the one my hosting service offers, and I've customized the hell out of it and even built some of my own widgets. I've written a script, also, to scrape my entries from here at LJ and repost them over there. But now I'm thinking seriously about reversing that polarity.

So here's my question. I know that a lot of you blog elsewhere and have your entries reposted to LJ. What process or service do you use to do it? How do like the results? I seek your wisdom.

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Dedux

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I was complaining about The Walking Dead a couple of weeks ago. I finally saw the mid-season finale (an oxymoron, for sure), after having somehow managed to avoid any spoilers. I have to say, it was great, it was visceral, it was shocking, it recast the entire season so far. What it did not do, though, was atone for how boring the season was up to that point. Here's hoping the remainder of the season can maintain that level of intensity, even if the characters are still more types than people.

In other follow-up news, I've been waiting for the Mormon missionaries to call me after their visit back in October, but they still haven't. I feel rejected. I feel jilted. I feel not worth saving. I feel upset that I haven't been able to invite them in and then tell them that praying out loud is not permitted under my roof.

Dammit. Maybe they found out more about me and are afraid. Maybe they just didn't like me. Oh, well, life is short.

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Rose bladder

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[Spoiler warning: Mildly squicky medical details within. The squeamish may not wish their appetites spoiled.]

I know you've all been waiting breathlessly to hear what's come of my possible kidney stone situation. I just saw my very booked-up urologist, and what he has to say boils down to: "We need to do more tests before we know what's going on."

He cautions me that there could be a myriad of reasons for hematuria (blood in the urine) and stinging urination. The blood (which, incidentally, I've only seen twice) could be coming from the kidneys, the bladder, the urethra, what have you. I need to start out by having an abdominal CT scan and a cystoscopy.

I've never had a CT scan, but I've had a cystoscopy one time before. It Is Not Fun. It involves having a camera shoved up your urethra and into your bladder. Yes, it's done with local anaesthesia, but you still feel it. The only good thing about it is, it couldn't be scheduled until January 18th.

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