Saturday, February 28, 2015


My story has been written, read, tweaked, proofread, corrected, re-re-read, tweaked again, given one last it's-really-final-this-time re-re-re-read, re-tweaked, and -- finally -- submitted. In celebration, I'm going to repost a picture which I commissioned from Noodly Appendage Designs to go with this world/story/character. (Click to enlarge it. I love this picture. It so perfectly captures the feel of this world.)

Thursday, February 26, 2015


burned up
down the drain
dried up
no more
not a sign of
not here
out the window
taken a powder
taken leave
turned to dust

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


You know, if there's one thing I've learned from being a parent, it's that dignity... is an illusion.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Filler: Action Movie Kid, Volume 2

Still more or less out -- February hasn't been the worst month I can remember, but it's done a respectable job of trying to beat us down. So, while I'm out (and I may be out for a day or three, or even this entire week -- I can't tell, yet) have some more Action Movie Kid to watch.

Action Movie Kid is awesome.

Friday, February 20, 2015

First Reading...

On my lunch break today, I read over the story that I finally (and almost accidentally) finished writing the other night.

I am pleased to report that it is, in fact, mostly coherent. I fixed a couple of minor things, and have now sent it off to my favorite proofreaders. No doubt they'll catch some things that I missed; that's why I ask them to proofread. But, even on a first reading a couple of days after the writing, I can say with some certainty that it doesn't completely suck. So, y'know, there's that.

Once they're done with it, I'll brave a submission.

Jurassic Preschool

So, Secondborn's class has been studying dinosaurs this week. Yesterday, they had a group discussion about a T-Rex and what a T-Rex might think. Secondborn's contribution?
"I want to eat people."
No, still not making this up. Embiggen the picture to see:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Reaction: J Warner Wallace and The Case For Truth, Part 4

Heh. I started this back on the 5th of February. It isn't finished, obviously. But, hey, I haven't got anything else for this morning, so here you go:

I wrote this introductory bit yesterday, when I thought I was finally recovering from the Flu. (I'm pretty sure it was the flu. Whatever it was, Tamiflu strated helping almost immediately.) So I figured I'd have time and energy to continue this the way I've been doing it so far. That was before last night. Last night was... kind of horrible. So I'm switching to a newer, shorter approach.
This post is part of an extended response to this video of a talk given by J Warner Wallace of Cold Case Christianity. Why? Well, somebody asked me to take a look and kind of offer my feedback/reactions. Here's the background. Everything I've said about the video is collected under the Cold Case Christianity tag, so that's where you should go if you want read the whole thing.

Honestly, though, I'm not sure anyone strictly needs to read the whole thing. I laid out some thoughts about Mr. Wallace's approach in the background post, and they've turned out to be fairly prescient in terms of what he has to say in this particular talk; so if you just want a general reaction, that's probably sufficient. At this point, I'm continuing on mostly for the sake of completeness, and because I'm curious if he has anything to add to the "eyewitnesses" argument for the historicity of Jesus.

In the last post, I stopped at the twenty-five minute mark, partly because the wall o' text was getting pretty long, and partly because I felt like I was getting away from explaining why I didn't find the thing convincing, and more into directly criticizing Mr. Wallace's approach. There's likely to be more of that ahead, so... um... be warned?
Yeah. Instead of going through it point by point, I'm just going to watch the rest of the talk. If he does anything that we haven't covered already, I might comment, but otherwise we're going all the way through the second half of the lecture and I'll just write down my final impressions.

I'm still very curious what the teenagers in his audience thought of this talk.

...Okay, fine, I'm going to comment a little. I'm at 31:55 in the lecture, and Mr. Wallace has been quizzing his students on whether various claims were objective or subjective. He's also been walking up the ladder of how-abstract-is-this, from physical claims, to mathematical claims (which he categorizes as "abstract"), to metaphysical claims, to moral claims. In the process, he's accidentally confirming something I talked about in the last post: this whole topic is vastly more complicated than objective/subjective and true/false. Trying to divide everything up into objective or subjective seems guaranteed to set up a false dichotomy.

In fact, rather than taking all those different kinds of claims (physical, mathematical, metaphysical, moral) and dividing them into objective or subjective, I think we'd be better off to add "subjective" in as another kind of claim: a claim of value. Are chocolate chip cookies the best dessert in the world? That's a question of value. Is tiramisu awesome? Also a question of value. That doesn't mean those claims aren't subjective; value is always perceived and changeable. But looking at it this way changes the way we make our divisions. Now, instead of having Physical, Mathematical, Metaphysical, and Moral claims which we divide into the larger categories of objective or subjective, we have five categories: Physical, Mathematical, Metaphysical, Moral, and Value claims, each of which we can approach on their own terms.

Going back to one of his earlier examples, let's look at "Hyundais can fly you to the moon." Mr. Wallace, using his objective/subjective split, classifies that as objective, and objectively false. I think there's a very good chance that he's miscategorized it -- that it isn't a physical claim at all. Instead, with such an obvious case of hyperbole, it seems far more likely that what we're hearing is the colloquial equivalent of "Hyundais are awesome," a value claim, and best considered and evaluated as a value claim rather than as a claim about the physical world.

That brings me back to Mr. Wallace's statement at 31:50 in the talk: "If there is a single objective transcendent moral claim that we can agree on, then we're stuck with the objective, transcendant nature of moral claims."

He then goes on discuss what he calls "objective, transcendent" moral claims -- basically making the claim that moral claims fall into the objective category. Now, he does acknowledge that moral claims tend to be complicated, and subject to disagreement, but I still think it's more useful to consider moral claims as kind of a separate category, rather than trying to shoehorn them into his objective/subjective setup.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Progress? Maybe?

I wrote a short story last night. I have no idea if it's any good. I'm afraid to look.

I wrote it all in one go, so there are probably words and things missing towards the end. (Frankly, it'll be a wonder if the last page or so didn't break down into full-blown glossolalia.) In a day or two, I'll try to clean it up, then have some people proofread it, and then maybe if it went the way I hope it did, I'll submit it. It's for the Swords v. Cthulhu anthology.

I'd prefer to have more time, to get a little distance and perspective before I try to proofread, but submissions close at the end of February.

Also, I am tired now.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Parenting Conversation: Big Trouble

Me: "Okay, so Firstborn has had his shower, and he's due to brush his teeth in about five minutes when he finishes his video."

Beautiful Wife: "Okay, I'll get off my &^% and help put Secondborn in the bathtub."

Me: "Actually, you might want to wait a few minutes. He's watching my movie, and we're about to get to the climactic final battle scene."

Beautiful Wife: "...What movie?"

Me: "Big Trouble In Little China. Because he is my son."

Beautiful Wife: "He is your son."

Monday, February 16, 2015

Music: Moon Trance

Still recuperating; everything I was working on is now behind. Well, except for the laundry; we actually made some progress on that. And, oddly enough, a couple of things at work that I managed to figure out; I'm pretty happy about that. Anyway, meanwhile, music:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Death Star Casual Day

"It's Casual Day," Grand Moff Tarkin had told him. "You should really take part, you know. Good for morale."

Now, with a prison break in process and his former master loose on the Death Star, Darth Vader knew that he should have trusted his feelings. Business Casual just wasn't going to be intimidating enough...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Secondborn is better...

...but I'm still exhausted. So here's a picture of my child, being adorable in a slightly pirate-y sort of way.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

All About That (Upright) Bass

Friend of mine posted a link to this on Facebook. I'm a little embarrassed to admit just how much I love it. Now I must torture my boss with it.

Monday, February 9, 2015


Okay, so add "nosebleed" to the week's carnival of maladies. What's that old quote about the thin line between tragedy and comedy?

This is what happens when I try to take a vacation

So, a while back I scheduled a week of vacation for the first week of February. The idea was that I would have some time to myself while the boys were in school, in which I could write and do laundry and perhaps attempt one or two other minor projects.

The Friday before that week was scheduled to begin, Secondborn woke up with a fever. Fortunately, we have resources: his Nana was able to take him for the morning, and I was able to take him for the afternoon. He probably would have stayed with me at work, but the fever was high enough that we'd gone ahead and scheduled an afternoon appointment with the pediatrician. So, not long after what-should-have-been-lunch, I took him to his appointment. The whole thing took maybe fifteen minutes, including time in the waiting room.

It was flu.

So I took the kiddo off to pick up medicine, then took him home and medicated him, and then made sure that the last of the Friday Night postings made it onto our website. Yay me. It was exhausting, but by the dark and forgotten gods we got it done.

I spent the next two days with massive, massive stuffiness and drainage, and a headache that wouldn't go away. No fever -- none at all -- but by Sunday I was ready to go get myself swabbed and find out of this was (as I now suspected) a flu of my very own. Finally, after a day spent dickering with the doctor's office, I got a prescription for Tamiflu. It cleared up the headache and most of the drainage in -- I kid you not -- less than two hours. I don't even think that's possible, but I swear that's what happened.

That was Monday night. Secondborn was home with me for all of Monday, but he was fever-free and feeling better and extremely well behaved. Plus, it wasn't like I was accomplishing anything anyway. I was exhausted.

On Tuesday, Secondborn went back to school; he'd been fever-free for about thirty-six hours by that point, so he was definitely no longer contagious. A little tired, but basically healthy. I'd had thoughts of doing things, but after I helped get the boys together and off to school, I wound up passing out for most of the morning. Forget writing; I was just trying to rest.

Wednesday was... I don't even know. About the same, I think. I was starting to feel better, finally, and thinking that I might be able to do things again.

Then Thursday hit. I don't know if it was something I ate, or some symptom of the flu that just hadn't quite gone away, or if I managed to pick up a completely new disease -- some sort of intestinal bug -- but whatever the case, it was horrible. And exhausting. And horrible. And unending. And horrible. Did I mention that it was horrible?

So: Tamiflu, Immodium, and ungodly amounts of liquids.

I made it through Friday: picked up the boys, got them fed, got everybody home and into bed. Hoo-flippin'-ray.

Saturday was my father-in-law's birthday, so we took him bowling in the afternoon. Despite having gotten as much extra sleep as I could manage, I was barely recovered enough to do this. (I was also deeply worried about what might happen if I had another bout at the bowling alley.) That said, it was actually a lot of fun; it was just a lot of fun that took most of my energy.

Saturday night, the Beautiful Woman had arranged for us to go out on a date -- it was sort of a present, left over from my birthday, and we'd been looking forward to the chance for quite a while. So the boys went over to my in-laws, and the two of us went to see Seventh Son (which turned out to be a solidly B-grade fantasy adventure), and then we came back out of the theater and found that my car wouldn't start. The battery was dead. And at that hour, there was nobody around to jump it. So: USAA roadside assistance, which -- now that we've been forced to try it out -- is awesome.

Sunday morning, the official end of my week of "vacation", was spent replacing the battery on my car. Beautiful Wife took the kids off for their Sunday with my parents, leaving me to try to recuperate, so I spent the day resting and running laundry. Beautiful Wife is, of course, now completely exhausted herself. (We've got to get a better system for this.) And I still feel somewhat as if I've been expertly beaten with rubber mallets.

So, yeah. I'm setting this post to publish for Monday morning. I may or may not be back at work; at this point, that's going to depend on whether or not I can climb out of bed tomorrow. Another such week of vacation and we are undone...

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Job 28:12, revised

Job 28:12, revised version: "But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? If I knew, I'd go stand there."

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Things I've done searches on in the last twenty-four hours:
Horse Colors
Armor Padding (the word I was looking for was "gambeson".)
Archer's Short Sword

I want my brain back. I swear I used to have a lot of this just floating around in my head.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Worlds of Fantasy!

I have nothing to put on the blog today, so here are things other people have written, instead.

1. Ten Things Every True Fantasy Writer Should Know.

2. How To Tell If You Are In A High Fantasy Novel. (Also: read the comments. Read all that comments. That... is not something I usually recommend on the Internet.)

3. The Emotional Milestones Of Writing A Novel. Not only is this interesting, but I needed something here to complete the trilogy.

You're welcome.

Monday, February 2, 2015

I'm out this week...

So, I'm taking a week of vacation to try and pull together a short story and submit it to an anthology. And also because my vacation hours are nearing their theoretical maximum for my workplace. So, naturally, I've been working with a sick kiddo (who's about recovered, now)... and naturally I'm not feeling so hot myself.

I'll probably come back to the J Warner Wallace bit sometime this week, but for the moment I'm just going to put up something I ran across on YouTube. It's apparently trying to become a TV series, which might be fun; I'd definitely watch it if it were a movie.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Yeah, that sort of fits

I spent last night playing BioShock. (This is an older game, set in a Utopian undersea city that is rapidly falling apart and has been overrun by horrible things, many of whom I'm sure were place's former citizens.) So, following several hours trying to work my way through a geographically-confusing setting, where everyone around me was either actively hostile or at best unhelpful, I naturally assumed that something of those themes and experiences would make themselves into my dreams.

I was right; they did.

I dreamed -- are you ready for this -- I dreamed I was trying to get through an airport with my wife, my children, my own parents, and one of my aunts. Yeah. Yeah, that fits, all right.