Inhuman Swill : Page 54
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

Computers take pictures of each other

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Computers take pictures of each other, part one
After I brought my new laptop home yesterday, what was the first thing I had to do? Of course:

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Me meme

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Me meme
(Via [info]roadnotes.)

Take a picture of yourself right now. Don't change your clothes. Don't fix your hair. Just take a picture. Post that picture with no editing. (Except maybe to get the image size down to something reasonable. Don't go posting an eight megapixel image.) Include these instructions.

I had to go into the pantry to get my iPhone, which was there recharging, or otherwise you might have seen all the packed boxes behind me right now. (Though I've been ferrying our plants, art, computer equipment, and other odd items to the new place all week, the big move takes place Saturday.) It only occurred to me after the fact that I could have used the webcam built into this fancy new Toshiba laptop (purchased yesterday, because packing my ass off doesn't mean there isn't time to go to Circuit City and buy a new laptop with which to write new stories in the new apartment), but I'm not used to thinking about there being a webcam in front of my face all the time yet. I just finished repainting a little strip of wall in the kitchen where our paper towel holder used to be. Fortunately we still have the leftover Glorious Gold in the storage room in the basement. Ella is keeping me company, by the way:

And believe it or not, that's her prescription bottle in the cabinet behind my left shoulder.

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William Ratfriend

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It's raining fairly hard here in Chicago this morning—not like in Texas, certainly, but hard enough that there's standing water a foot deep in places on our street. Ella and I just got back from an hour-long walk in that deluge. We had a famous time, chasing wet squirrels in the park and clambering on the maze of playground equipment that is forbidden to dogs.

Ella was kind enough to deposit a pile of turds near a large plastic rolling waste bin. It was the kind of bin with a hinged lid that is supposed to stay closed to keep rats out. The lid was open, though, and I swung the tied plastic bag of Ella's turds through the air and into the bin. Two points!

But the thud and swish of the bag landing in the bin was followed immediately by a harsh, raspy squeal. Startled, I moved near the bin and peered over the rim. A medium-sized rat was hunched in the sludgy foot of garbage at the bottom. I jerked back, then peered in again. The rat was soaked and looked terrified.

I drew back again. I had never seen a terrified rat before. I didn't know if it was injured, or if it had babies in there, or what, but clearly it was unable to climb the smooth, wet sides of the bin and escape.

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When Flash animations attack!

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Animator vs. Animation by Alan Becker

(Thanks, Gordon!)

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If you don't vote, you're a moron

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A long but worthwhile exhortation from Craig Ferguson to study the issues and listen to yourself when you vote. Long but very worthwhile.

(Via [info]parttimedriver.)

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The three wives of John McCain

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Here are a set of three very different articles, different in every way, one for each of the three beauty queens in John McCain's life:

The Daily Mail on Carol McCain:
"The Wife U.S. Republican John McCain Callously Left Behind" by Sharon Churcher

The New Yorker on Cindy McCain:
"The Lonesome Trail" by Ariel Levy

The Nation on Sarah Palin:
"Beauty and the Beast" by Joann Wypijewski

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What is "preemptive war," Alex?

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Sarah Palin doesn't know what the Bush Doctrine is, and her embarrassing attempts to weasel a clue out of Charles Gibson are not even worthy of a high-school forensics student:

Yes, Mrs. Palin, obviously you're ready to be President. I will sleep without nightmares knowing you will answer that three a.m. phone call with that blank deer-in-headlights stare. You make me pine for Dan Quayle.

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Voting with the gut

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NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered have begun a fascinating joint series that convenes a panel of voters from York, Pennsylvania, for a roundtable discussion of race and how it affects the 2008 election. (Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here.)

Sadly, some of the conclusions drawn seem to bear out what I was saying yesterday about voting with the gut. One white woman, after swearing that she was raised in a home utterly without prejudice, proceeded to accuse Obama of lying about not being a Muslim:

Leah Moreland, the woman who said she grew up sheltered from prejudice, plans to vote for McCain. Party loyalty is also part of her decision. But her cultural compass also comes into play. She says her gut tells her not to trust Obama.

"I look at Obama, and I have a question in my mind," she says. "Years ago, was he taken into the Muslim faith? And my concern is the only way you are no longer a Muslim is if you are dead, killed. So in my mind, he's still alive."

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Bullseye

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I realized an odd thing yesterday, which is only meaningful to me. September 11th very nearly and neatly bisected my time in New York. I rolled into the city for the first time in a moving truck on (I think) October 9, 1995. Just shy of six years later, well, you know. And a bit shier of six years after that, June 30, 2007 (also my sixth wedding anniversary), we rolled back out of New York in a loaded SUV. Weird.

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The benefactors are back!

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Three-time World Fantasy Award nominee John Klima has brought back the benefactor level subscription for his autumn Electric Velocipede subscription drive. For a mere $150, you get not just a lifetime subscription to the wonderful EV and everything else that Spilt Milk Press publishes, but you also get copies every issue of EV still in print, every Spilt Milk Press chapbook published so far (which includes my own Alternate History of the 21st Century), a copy of John's delightful anthology Logorrhea, and a T-shirt!

How the fuck can you go wrong? Become a damn benefactor today, already!

(BTW, I would tout EV even if my story "Timesink" were not scheduled to appear in the forthcoming double issue...)

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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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