Monthly Archives: May 2012

RIP, Leo Dillon

Leo Dillon has passed away. He was one half of the famous illustrator duo of Leo and Diane Dillon.

You’ve seen their work, and there’s no mistaking it for other people’s stuff. Many people tried to imitate their colors and their alternately bulgy, monumental, and ethereal people, but other people didn’t know how to draw like them. It was an eccentric, surreal style that came out of mastery of technique and something like super-realism. (Whereas many of the wannabes couldn’t draw any better than I can. And I’m baaaaaad.) They weren’t my super-favorite artists; but any book illustrated or given a cover by the Dillons was bound to have quality to it. Many of my favorite books did have Dillon covers, so I think fondly of them.

I hope that Diane Dillon will continue working, though. I don’t want to talk like she’s dead, too.

Here’s a tribute at Tor Books.

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The Laptop Display Died

I’m going to have my little brother look at it, but it seems to have that dead as doornail feel to it. You’ll recall that I’ve been expecting it since last summer or so, when the thing started having mysterious ailments. Still, I just bought the new computer and thought the old one would do okay for quite a while, what with less wear and tear. Then again, it could just be that the video card connector worked loose, or something else that’s an easy fix. Shrug. I guess we’ll find out.

On the bright side, this laptop makes it pretty easy to remove the hard drive, so I can put that into one of those portable hard drive cases if I need to.

The annoying bit is that I was making a lot of progress with the translation, and now I have to get back in the groove. Sigh.

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How to Get Off Hold Instantly

1. Stay on hold for over an hour, listening to the hold music until you are ready to go insane.

2. Get hungry. Go get something to eat.

3. Take a really big bite.

Seriously, there was about a millisecond between my mouth being totally full of granola and unable to respond, and the nice lady saying hello. Gotta love Murphy’s Law.

(And yes, this is why God gave us the ability to spit stuff back out into the wrapper. Quietly.)

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City Engineer

I happened to turn on the public access channel this morning, and they had a little mini-documentary going with the one of the local towns’ city engineer. It was pretty interesting. He was driving around on the roads, looking at various problems, and bitching to the cameras about the joy of getting various corporate contractors to cooperate with the city, on things like moving wires to new poles. 🙂 It also turns out that this city engineer does some free eyeball-consulting for city property owners having problems with things like subsidence. They don’t do any work, but he does diagnose the problem. (This is a benefit for the city too, because subsidence problems or pipe breaks will eventually affect the roads.) They also talked about various traffic flow problems, and what fixes are being implemented and why.

Anyway, it was interesting to get some context for stuff I’ve seen happening out on the roads around here.

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Udmurtia: Land of Grannies and Redheads

I’ve never heard of Udmurtia, but they have a famous Russian pop/folk group called the Budnovo Babushkas. All grannies, as per the name, and all over 70. They’ve gotten to the final round of the Eurovision song contest, representing Russia et al.

Read all about it, and watch the song video, at Language Log.

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In Which Japan and Hollywood Apologize to Robert A. Heinlein

A trailer for Starship Troopers: Invasion. Anime directed by the Appleseed guy. English script by American guys who obviously paid attention in Heinlein class. Might be good. It’s a new story, though. You can tell because the guy in command is identified (in katakana) as Johnny Rico, and because they’re reenacting Alien at some parts.

And nah, Rico doesn’t look super-Hispanic, but more Hispanic than Doogie. (Which isn’t to say that there aren’t some very blond people in Hispanic countries. Lots of immigrants, too.)

As we all know, Japan has had a lot of power-suit animes which were vaguely based on Heinlein’s work and concepts, but I think this is the first one that actually licensed out Starship Troopers.

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Everybody Blog about Brett Kimberlin Day

Back in 2011, somebody called the cops claiming to be Patterico, and “confessing” to just having shot his wife and kids. This is the kind of “prank” that could easily have led to Patterico or one of his family getting shot by accident by nervous SWAT team members, and is scary even if nothing worse than a knock on the door by the friendly neighborhood SWAT team happens. Evidence connects the prank caller to Kimberlin and his associates.

It is my opinion that Brett Kimberlin and his little friends are a clear and present danger to public order and decency, not to mention free speech and freedom of the press. He is obviously starting to become more “disorganized” in his harassment of others. This is a pattern which often leads to explosions of violence from such a person.

Brett Kimberlin, the Speedway Bomber, is a convicted domestic terrorist, drug dealer, and perjurer. He seems to be working hard on getting his next conviction.

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