Spider – 1, Me – Minus Several Thousand

So there I was, watching the MST3K episode of “Giant Spider Invasion” when I happened to glance to my left. There, dangling an inch from my face, was a moderately large house spider.

When I finished my freak-out, I had completely lost track of my opponent. Now I’m feeling itchy, and I’m pretty sure that the spider is just waiting its chance.

I’ve got company coming in an hour. I think I’ll let him have the spider seat.


I Yet Live

1. I’m not dead, but I have been very busy.

2. I’ve now completely forgotten what I’d originally intended to write about.

3. When I heard that Richard Matheson had died this week, I decided to write about his influence on fantasists in the 2nd half of the 20th century.

4. Then I read this, which says it all perfectly.

5. So I thought I’d talk about a great writer who hasn’t died — Robert Sheckley.

6. It turns out that Sheckley died a while ago, which I knew at the time but somehow forgot.

7. With no time to write something new, I edited a book review.

8. I don’t want to post the book review without a scan of the cover, and I believe that I mentioned something about a complete lack of time.

9. DOMA got struck down, which has nothing to do with the absence of a post from me this week but is totally awesome.

10. I’m still not caught up at work, so I have no time to post anything coherent.

11. I bought three (3) versions of the movie poster for “Kingdom of the Spiders”. Intentionally.

12. On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love said to me: “It’s the beginning of summer; you’re not allowed to talk about that.”

Magical, Farting Elves

Network diagnostics are not a strong point of mine, so when things get screwy at work I’m pretty helpless.

Today, for about a half an hour, the network completely forgot I existed. I lost access to servers, code repositories, email, and a number of internal apps. Some of my co-workers suggested that I should check that my passkey still worked, but others pointed out that I might just leave if it didn’t.

To stay sane (and because IM still worked) I chatted with a co-worker while struggling to get my access restored.

Me: You know how you had network problems the other day?
C-W: Yeah?
Me: Now I can’t log into anything.
C-W: oy.
Me: My computer locked me out, and I could only get back in by restarting it.
Me: But anything that requires a password is hosed.
C-W: Freak week.

13 minutes later…

Me: It’s exactly as though my password expired, only it shouldn’t have.
Me: I didn’t get 1000 reminders. 😉
C-W: Weird.
Me: Aaaand now it works again.
C-W: Lucky you!
Me: Someone must have fed the elves.
C-W: Or farted.

Yup. Farting elves are the cause of so many of our problems. If only there were a way to treat their tiny little flatulance.

A New Local Bookstore

A new book store has opened in downtown Ann Arbor. Literati Bookstore, on the corner of E. Washington and S. Fourth is a cozy two-story shop with a selection that brings to mind the sections of Borders that weren’t devoted to genre fiction — back when Borders actually was a local store.

I did a double-take when I first noticed the open sign.

I did a double-take when I first noticed the open sign.

I didn’t have a lot of time to peruse the shelves, but I did get a sense for the sections. Fiction, children’s books, poetry, and books about media are upstairs, along with a small selection of magazines. Downstairs are humor, various types of history, biographies and reference. Crafts and religion are in there somewhere, I forget exactly where, and I’m certain that I’ve forgotten at least two categories — most likely from the basement.

The staff seemed very friendly, and they let me wander on my own after attracting my attention with a greeting. As an anxious sort, I appreciate that. It’s nice to know who I can ask for assistance but be trusted to ask when I need it.

There was a nice amount of customers milling around late in the lunch hour. Not crammed in, but enough to raise hope that there’s enough interest to keep the place open. Both registers were going, and for my part I purchased a copy of Sean Howe’s “Marvel Comics: The Untold Story.”

(I have my fingers crossed that it will reveal Jack Kirby was a space god and Steve Ditko a pan-dimensional sorcerer. We all know Stan Lee sustained a papercut from a radioactive comic book.)

Anyway, I wish them well. With Literati and Aunt Agatha’s only a block apart, all we need now is a nearby source for new horror, science fiction, and fantasy!

Web of the Big Damn Spider Relaunched

Some of you may know that a handful of years ago I had a podcast and website dedicated to movies. It was called The Web of the Big Damn Spider, and while several spider movies were featured it was really more about tracking tropes in horror and other genre films.

That endeavor collapsed under its own lack of focus, but I always wanted to revisit the idea.

I am proud to announce the launch of the re-focused and reanimated Web of the Big Damn Spider!

From here out, it is wholly dedicated to reviewing spider movies and (because I must have some leeway) sharing spider-related information. The first post is a review of the 1959 Three Stooges film HAVE ROCKET — WILL TRAVEL, a film better read about than viewed.

That is One Ugly Mug

There were no more packets of the flavor of coffee I drink at work, so I rummaged through the cupboards in our kitchenette to see if there were any boxes hidden away.

That’s how I found the ugly mug.

I -- Wow, no.

I — Wow, no.

I can only imagine that someone left it here out of spite. Surely nobody actually tries to drink out of this horrid thing.

A Fair Exchange

I was chatting with D____ about movies when the following exchange occurred.

Me: I got the see the director’s cut of Alien at the Michigan, and it was GLORIOUS!
Me: I forgive Ridley Scott a lot, because that is still my favorite movie.

D____: I think that’s fair

Me: I still want my money back from the free screening of White Squall, though. THAT, I will not forgive him for.

No sooner had he called me fair than I turned into a judgemental jerk. It’s that sort of IM whiplash that could launch a thousand psych term papers.

We See Your Underpinnings

Well, I learned about the server and technology used by Letterboxd, but I’d rather see my movie list.

Yes, but why don't you show me the bytecode?

Yes, but why don’t you show me the bytecode?

It’s not difficult to present a useful screen to the user when something goes wrong. Clearly, that’s not an important consideration to the Letterboxd developers.

I expect, however, that they are talking plenty about database availability and access today.

May I Freshen Your Documentation?

There’s a post-it on a cupboard at work that explains how to make coffee. I wrote earlier about how these instructions were modified to convert the measurements to decimal.

The coffee maker was recently replaced with a Keurig pod brewer. The only thing to measure now is the size of the coffee cup. No more scooping; just pop in your pod in push the button.

So we can toss the instructions now, right?

Wrong! As developers it is our responsibility to update documentation!

I see the Keurig. Now what?

I see the Keurig. Now what?

All of the previous text has been commented (crossed) out, and “see Keurig” has been added to the document. Good job, developers! Keep documentation relevant!