Saturday, August 24, 2013

Photos of two happy things

The other day, I spotted this lovely butterfly and was able to get a reasonable photo of it.  I couldn't help but smile.

Click on an image to see a larger version.

As best I can tell from looking at online photos of butterflies, this is an anise swallowtail, but whatever it is, it's beautiful.

Yesterday, when I arrived home after work, I found to my delight my author copies of The Man Who Sold the Moon/Orphans of the Sky, to which I wrote an afterword.

Heinlein and I on the same cover!  You may have heard the fanboy squee throughout the U.S.

For what it's worth, the afterword is, I believe, a strong piece of work, so please pick up this book, enjoy the classic Heinlein stories, and check out my own modest contribution.

Friday, August 23, 2013

This. Yes.

Scalzi already pointed to it, so most of you may have caught it already, but in case you haven't, the redoubtable Jay Lake wrote a simple but important advice entry.  I recommend we all read it and consider heeding it.

I know I regret far more what I haven't done than what I have done.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

If you're going to apply for a job

do visit the company's Web site before you send your resume. You should have at least some clue about what the firm does before you ask to work there.

don't misspell the company's name.  Unsurprisingly, people don't like this particular error.

don't misspell the title of the job.  I once received a cover letter asking for a job as a "techicnal wirter."  Yeah, that didn't work out well.

do pay attention to detail in what you send.  If your resume or cover letter is sloppy or full of errors, hiring managers are likely to wonder if your work will be of the same quality.

Are any of these basic reminders news?

I sincerely hope not.

Should any of these basic reminders be necessary?

Of course not.

Are they?

Sadly, yes.  All too often, yes.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A great night to eat outside

The rains finished, the sky cleared, a cool breeze flowed through, and the evening transformed into the kind of night that makes me fall in love with North Carolina all over again. 

So, even though I knew I'd have to cut it short, I and a group of friends and co-workers headed over to MotorCo and FullSteam for a quick dinner under the stars.  I enjoyed a shortrib quesadilla from KoKyu and a small ice cream from Parlour

Every single time that I eat at this weekly little food-truck gathering, I have a good time.  Tonight's weather made it all the better. 

If you're having a rough Wednesday--or even if you're having a good one--and you live around here, you should check this out.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Another master passes: Elmore Leonard, R.I.P.

If you've read any of Elmore Leonard's mysteries, you know what a loss this is.  If you haven't read any, go order a few, and then come back here.

Leonard wrote with a command of voice that few authors achieve.  He wrote clearly and cleverly, with a wonderful eye for detail and an even better ear for dialog. 

He also wrote regularly, putting out book after book for many years. 

I never had a chance to meet him or hear him talk, but I've read a fair amount of his work and enjoyed it all. 

I'm sorry there won't be more.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Things that piss me off: Modifying "unique"

If something is unique, it is the only one.  That's what the word means.  Yes, I realize that common usage has led many people to qualify the word and thus enticed dictionaries to add an alternate meaning along the lines of atypical, unusual. 

I don't care. 

We should not modify the word, nor should we misuse it.  Each of us humans is unique; until we have cloning, to the best of my knowledge, that is a correct use of the term.  We are not, however, somewhat unique, very unique, nearly unique, and, as I overheard a person say recently, kinda unique. 


Nor is your dog almost unique, your baby sorta unique, your idea mostly unique--all phrases I've heard in the last week.


Leave "unique" alone.  It's a lovely word.  Use it properly.  Let it do its job. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

New Blue Rodeo album coming!

I'm excited to report that one of my favorite bands, Blue Rodeo, will be releasing a new album, In Our Nature, on October 29. 

At least for a short time, you can listen to three tracks from the album here.

If you don't know Blue Rodeo, let me recommend strongly that you immediately buy their eight-CD box set, 1987-93 (available from Amazon here). 

I've featured many of their songs in past blog entries, including this one.  It bears repeating, though, so enjoy it.


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