Tuesday, November 29, 2005


The Novel, which now has a title, Points of Origin, is finished. At 50,346 words, it just barely made the NaNoWriMo target of 50,000, but it got that far.

Tomorrow or later in the week I'll fix up the page to show all the NaNoWriMo award icons, but for now, I'm going to turn off this computer and forget about it for a while.

Good Night, All.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Almost Middle Aged Writer ISO Title

With the beast that has taken over my life at over 40,000 words, the time as come to give it a title.

Just one problem, I have no idea what the title should be. Well, I did at one point, that's not the main focus of the story now.

So a little help, Gentle Readers. What should the title be? Leave your comments below.

If I use your suggestion, I'll be happy to Tuckerize you. Just give me a title and preferred mode of death. (Hey, I've tuckerized the I-95 bridge over the Potomac, so why not you?)


Words in my humble literary endeavor. With five days left, 2,000 words a day will make the NaNoWriMo goal. It looks like I just might get it done.

Those who are actually reading the thing (Z, TK?) will note that in Chapter 22 our team actually gets to go through a Stargate -- finally. In a chapter or two, they'll even get to meet a real, live -- no, that would be telling.

Goal for the weekend: get to 50,000 words by Sunday evening. I might make it, might not. Then wrap things up by Tuesday, and add a little padding on Wednesday.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

You Have the Right Not to
 Click on the Attachment

So you wake up in the morning and there's an email in your inbox. This one looks official, and it's from the FBI. It says, in part, that your Internet address has been implicated in illegal online activity.

Man, I hate when that happens.

The email then asks you to respond to a few questions. Just click on the little attachment there, and all will be well. (After all, Internet addresses are easily spoofed. I mean, I get emails from places like Little Susie's House of Pain all the time, and I've never visited that site.) (Well, OK, once.) (In a while.) (But still...)

Needless to say, this is just a little bit of social engineering to get you to open the attachment. If the FBI or CIA wants to ask you questions, they have more efficient means of doing it than sending you an email attachment. If you do open the attachment, your (Windows) computer will be infected with the Sober Worm, a nasty piece of work that starts by disabling your virus protection package and in some cases rewriting your hosts file (yes, your computer has one). That makes it impossible for you to contact your virus protection provider for information on how the remove the worm. If that happens, you may need these tips on removing the Sober Worm. Be warned. One of the tips says, essentially, "Go to a friends house. Say, 'I've been a complete idiot and opened an unsolicited attachment on my PC, and now I've got the Sober virus. Can I use your information to download the tools I need to remove it?'" If that doesn't stop you from clicking on attachments, nothing will.

Your friend will probably guess that one of his friends has been infected, because he'll be getting copies of the virus emailed from every infected computer that stored his email address. Including Little Susie's House of Pain. (I've told that woman that she needs a better computer system.)

Oh, did I mention that this virus only infects Windows machines? Not Macs, Linux, or Unix boxes? We've been trying to tell you, kiddies...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Star Trek: The Last Generation

Did you watch Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning? If so, you might want to look at Star Trek New Voyages: fanfic of what the last two years of the Five Year Mission might have looked like.

The sets, music, and special effects are great, and evoke the original series. The acting is not so good. (Maybe it doesn't matter. Can you say "Denny Crane"?) The scripts suffer from prequelitis: the belief that events in the future of the timeline must be foreshadowed, even if no mention of such foreshadowing is not remembered in said timeline. Case in point, a pyramid which will look very familiar. (No, it's not a Stargate Ha'tak.)

Still it's fun. Several episodes are available for download. Spring for the DVD version if you've got the bandwidth.

And what could be a better way to spend turkey day than watching somebody with a Vinnie Barbarino haircut trying to imitate Shatner?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


The count on the novel increases. I'm now up the Chapter 19, which is really way too many. These should really be called "fits" rather than "chapters," because each of them is a "fit" of writing, where I write a lot, and then stop for a bit.

18,000 words, 9 days to go, ==> 2,000 words per day. Well, I think I can average that, but I've got commitments for tomorrow night, so don't expect anything posted until Thanksgiving morning.

Defects in writing style: I'm planning on doing an entire post mortem on the whole thing in December, but one of the annoying things I've found is that I suffer from here-comes-a-commercialitis. You know, the idea that each commercial break should end with a dramatic development or an ironic comment. I hate that! And yet, I find myself doing it at the end of every chapter, including 19, published tonight.

By the way, earlier chapters have changed a bit. In particular, in Chapter 9 I added a few lines to drive home the fact that the SGC knows that "The Cylons Were Created By Man." Sorry, I'm not including a changelog, I don't have time. I'll try to warn you where changes have taken place, though.

Hope this isn't too incoherent. I'm half asleep now.

Good Night, All.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

26,485 Words

are written so far for NaNoWriMo. Seventeen chapters. If you've been reading along, note that Chapter 3 has had a significant sentence added to it. I was going to use this later, but I decided Daniel had to know about it before Chapter 17.

That's the great thing about writing books, you can always go back and change things.

Tomorrow we get over 30,000 words, or we don't go to sleep.

Still More Chapters

I have more of my NaNoWriMo novel online. Chapter 9 was rewritten a bit, and I've added 10-14. The index has placeholders for 15 and 16, but they aren't available yet. Last night I dug myself a major plot hole in ch. 15, and now I've got to delete (wah!).

23,036 words have been written. I hope to get over 30,000 by the end of the week, then I only need 5,000 words on each of my vacation days to finish up — well, to get over the limit. I may have more to say. I'm pretty sure I can get 5,000 words if I have a whole day available, I managed 5,000 on Wednesday evening, and another 3,000 on Thursday. Yesterday, of course, I got stuck early.

Will post more when I get written. Thanks to my reader(s) for taking a look.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

More Chapters Up

Chapters 8 and 9, to be precise. I now have something over 12,500 words, or ¼ of the way to the goal. Maybe I can reach it. If I can get over 20,000 words by next weekend I think I've got a pretty good shot.

I've corrected the spelling of Laura Roslin's name, which had somehow acquired a "y" in place of the "i". I'm not sure how that happened.

I'm getting somewhere with this, at least, Starbuck is talking to Daniel, maybe, and Adama's getting ready to visit the system.

If anyone out there is reading this and is a fan of the new Battlestar Galactica, can you answer a question for me? Wasn't there a ring-like structure in the ruins of Kobol? At least when Six was showing Baltar their future baby? It's not essential, but it would help the connections between the shows which I'm trying to build.

You will no doubt note that I haven't been proofreading all that much. There's just not enough time. So if you see anything that's a grave (or minor) insult to the English language, please leave a comment. Think of yourselves as my beta-testers.

And if you like the story so far, leave a comment about that, as well. I need all the encouragement I can get.

If you don't like the story, comment as well. I can take criticism. I'll also take names, but I can take criticism.

Answering William Allen White

Back in my pre-youth, William Allen White famously asked What's the Matter With Kansas? Alas, now we know.

In an effort to help people who must live or visit Kansas, the Annals of Improbable Research has published these useful stickers. I'm reasonably sure, given my status as a Jayhawk-in-exile, that they'd allow me to repeat the text here:


as per order of the Board of
Education, November 8,2005

Use of this device or substance
may require, imply, and/or endorse
the existence of one or more of the
following: chemistry; evolution;
electromagnetism; gravity;
mathematics; thermodynamics;

I should point out that this case shows a classic political fallacy: the belief that just because you win one election, it's all over. Recall that in 1999 the Kansas BoE passed something similar. Those who voted in favor were booted out at the next election. All over, right? Well, guess again. They're baaack. They may well be out after the next election, but guess what, they'll be back again. Even, I bet, in Dover, Pennsylvania.

Eternal vigilance, folks.

More Writing: Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7

Well, I got a bit more done this week. I've put Chapters 4-7 online. In these Chapters, Jack and Starbuck get hooked up. I even give Mitchell something to do, since he's not done much during the series.

The project is at about 9,500 words, or something less than 1/5 done in one third of the time. I think I've got it all plotted out now. Warning: I'm going to do violence to Greek and Roman mythology, and possibly change the outcome of the Trojan War. Aside from that, everything should be just like real history up until 1995 or so.

Instead of doing the LaTeX to HTML conversion by hand, I'm using a script called ltoh. It's not perfect, by any means, it uses HTML 3.2 instead of XHTML, and it require a stricter latex file than I'm used to, but it works well enough for now. I'll pretty up the HTML output with last, next, up links at a later date.

Friday, November 11, 2005

How To Set Up Fedora Core

www.Travels.in.Paradise.com ™ has a list of instructions on how to set up Fedora Core as your personal computer system. Quite a few steps are similar to the ones I've discussed here and in Working With Fedora Core, but there are a few differences: disk partitioning scheme, where to get Java (he likes Sun, I like Blackdown), he likes VLC, I'm more into Xine and mplayer, etc. But it's a useful document.

Also useful are his references:

All of these are useful, especially if you are installing Fedora for the first time.

Oh, the novel? It's at about 7,600 words. I'll post the latest chapters sometime today. Something short of 1/6th done, with only 20 days to go. Fortunately I'm now past the introductory stuff, maybe I can get more written as we get into the action.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

How The Mighty Have Fallen

OK, the show was pre-web, and close to pre-Internet. But, did you know, that a Google ™ search on the phrase The Owls are Not What They Seem puts this blog in second place? And that is a post which only uses the Twin Peaks motif as a throwaway line to suggest that what you see isn't always what is there.

What's to be done? We need to upgrade the show's Page Rank. So quick, all ye bloggers, put up a link to David Lynch's Twin Peaks site.

Of course, it would help if they actually had the quote The Owls are Not What They Seem on the site.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Thirty-Seven Year Itch

Yesterday Kansas beat Nebraska in football, 40-15. While Nebraska is having a down millenium, it's still news. It's bigger than beating Kentucky in basketball. Thirty-seven years is a long time. I mean, in 1968,

  • I was still in high school.
  • John Riggins was still playing for KU.
  • Gale Sayers was considered a recent graduate (1965) of KU.
  • There was this war going on. You may have heard of it.
  • People still thought of Ronald Reagan as an actor — OK, someone who was in some movies.
  • The Watergate was just a hotel, because Richard Nixon was just running for President.
  • George W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton were doing whatever they didn't do during the Vietnam War.
  • Star Trek was on television — in its second season.
  • (I got tired of looking up Wikipedia entries, OK?)
  • Mohammed Ali was in jail.
  • No one had heard of Star Wars. Few had heard of Lord of the Rings.

Got it? This was a long, long run. Sorry, Nebraska. Maybe next year — we'll beat you in Lincoln.

Chapter 3 is online

I've posted Chapter 3. Wrote it yesterday at Barnes and Noble, fortified by Starbucks coffee. No, not Starbucks' coffee, she might shoot me.

It's an info dump, trying to give all the background I can think of for the Stargate side of the story. Hopefully it's consistent with series canon up to Fourth Horseman. However, series canon isn't totally consistent, so if I'm off a bit I won't care.

There is little proof-reading in the last chapter. If I get this thing finished before the end of the month I'll polish it up. However, there is little danger that I'm going to get it done too soon. I only have something on the order of 3,500 words, and the requirement is 50,000. It has been a busy week, and there are vacation days coming up, so I hope to get done around Thanksgiving. But we'll see.

Friday, November 04, 2005

You May Wonder

Why there are no more chapters.

That's because we've come to the part of the story where I have to do a massive infodump, and I hate massive infodumps.

I think it's going to be a lunchroom scene, with SG-1 and Burkemeirer.

Not much to explain. Just

  • Why PM-3527 has no Stargate
  • What the heck Saturn was doing there
  • Why he left
  • And took all the humans with him
  • Why Burkemeirer calls the place Massilia.
  • And what Mitchell and Teal'c are getting out of this visit.
  • And, less we forget, what O'Neill and Robbins find in Massilia's waterworks.

Then we have to get Starbuck into the game, but that will be for another chapter.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Chapter Two Ready

I've posted Chapter 2. This one is from the Galactica side, and serves to start the interaction between our characters. I hope.

Again, only 1,000 words or so. I hope I can get a few more words written tomorrow night. I'd hate getting to Thanksgiving time with only 20K words written. It would make the vacation rather hectic.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Chapter One Up

We're off and running. Chapter 1 of my magnum opus is up. There is also a PDF version for those that are so inclined.

This ran a little short, 1072 words, instead of the projected 2,000. I hope that this doesn't mean that I'm going to write 50 chapters. I suspect not. This was just a set-piece introduction of the woman who will be our focus character from the SG-1 side of the story. A woman who obviously has some history with both Jack and Sam.

I probably spent too much time editing, as well. And then I'm sure I let some major blooper go through. Oh well, there's always time for editing in December.