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Ethel the Blog

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One more note [Jun. 24th, 2009|07:08 am]
Ethel the Blog
It's just easier to say this this way than to comment to everyone individually.

I used to be of the "test drive it for a night and see if you like it before
you put money down on it," just like the majority, but then earlier this
year someone made a very valid point at a meeting that struck home and made
me do a 180, and that point is the following:

Imagine you're considering attending a play/show/concert, but aren't sure if
it'll really be your thing or not. Imagine what would happen if you went to
the box office and said, "I'm really not sure if it's worth my money, so I'm
going to watch it for free tonight, and if I like it I'll buy a ticket for
your next performance."

What business does that? Why would anyone adopt that business model? It's
absolutely ludicrous, especially if your "play" is reaching seating capacity
on a regular basis and you're worried about how to make sure everyone who
DOES buy a ticket has a good time.

Again, this is my opinion, not the con's. If your opinion is different
that's ok, but mine is firmly this: If you're gonna go watch your friend's
play, you buy a ticket. You want to go to CONvergence, you buy a
membership.
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(no subject) [Jun. 12th, 2009|04:35 pm]
Ethel the Blog
I've been staying home and feeling physically kind of down in the dumps since Wednesday.

Yesterday, he dropped off a few new decks of MTG (complete with counters and 20 siders), as we both got rehooked on the game.

Today, he brought me all my favorite foods, uncomplainingly helped me rearrange my closet, lugged the new 69-pound printer upstairs...

...and just now, replaced my (stolen/lost) iPod.

I am not worthy.

It is a day of stimulating the economy with Technology Purchases. In addition to the iPod (which he got for a hell of a low price), he's playing with his brand new MacBook Pro, and the new printer arrived today as well. So many ones and zeros!
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(no subject) [Jun. 8th, 2009|08:18 am]
Ethel the Blog
I had a fun weekend at Siouxland, despite the bitter cold and rain. Maybe more later.

On the way home, I got news that a friend's 7-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia yesterday. The good news is that her chances are really good -- her type of leukemia has a 85% complete remission rate, and it sounds like they caught it early. I couldn't stop thinking about her on the way home.

Treatment for leukemia has improved dramatically in the last 30 years -- when my cousin Shannon was diagnosed with it in the mid 70s, it was a terminal diagnosis -- the survival rate was close to 0%. My friend's daughter's chances are really good, but it's still going to be rough on both her and her family. No little girl should ever have to go through that. Never.

This provides an opportunity to ask that everyone reading this consider registering to become a marrow donor. Marrow donation is different from blood donation -- a match has to be incredibly exact. It is not an exaggeration to say that you quite literally might be the only person on the planet who has the power to save someone's life, and you might be sitting here reading this right now and not even know it.

Normally it costs about $52 to be typed, but right now starting literally this morning, typing is free because they're doing a marrow drive. This will not last forever, and funding will run out. It could not be a better time for you to register. And the typing is painless -- a cheek swab that you send back in the mail. You don't even need to leave your house or make a single doctor's appointment.

I may never get the phone call saying that I'm someone's match and you may never either, but without a doubt registering this spring was the best damn thing I've done in 10 years. Almost anyone who is generally healthy and is between the ages of 18 and 55 can become a donor. I honestly have no idea why anyone who is able would not stand in line to do this.

Consider this. Only 3 out of every 10 patients desperately needing a marrow transplant ever gets one for lack of a matching donor -- that's 70% who go without. And you know how many people are registered to donate? Only 6 million. 6 million out of 300 million people living in the US -- that's less than THREE PERCENT. Talk about a tragic and pointless death! If everyone was typed, no one's son or daughter or mother or sister needs to ever die for lack of a donor.

Please consider registering today for free. You can do it online in less time than it takes to drink a cup of coffee or read your favorite web comic. http://www.marrow.org/JOIN/Join_Now_Special/Marrowthon09/join_now_mt09.html
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(no subject) [Jun. 1st, 2009|06:58 pm]
Ethel the Blog
Free to good home: One 2006-2007 (?) MNRG Atomic Bombshells shirt. Orange. Womens' medium, but they run really small, so if you're normally a small this would probably fit you.

New, never worn. I got it a few years ago thinking I could squeeze into a medium (I normally wear a large) but alas, back then I did not know how small the sizes ran.

First person to take it wins! Please only take it if you will wear it and love it and sleep with it at night.
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(no subject) [May. 16th, 2009|09:50 pm]
Ethel the Blog
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(no subject) [May. 1st, 2009|07:25 am]
Ethel the Blog
I hereby declare today to be Jonathan Coulton Day.

For those who don't know who he is, he is an ex-programmer turned successful musician who lives in Brooklyn. He writes all sorts of geeky songs, about everything from a self-loathing squid who ruins everything he touches (I Crush Everything), to a consoling love song from Charon to Pluto after Pluto's demotion (I'm Your Moon) to one of his huge hits about having sex outside (First of May). At the last concert Minneapolis concert, Neil Gaiman came out of the audience to do backup vocals for Creepy Doll.

He's like Luke Ski, except without the filking and the ego. And with actual talent. And I don't want to punch him.

He is chill and laid back and actually cool and doesn't constantly pimp himself out like many artists do. His is a different method of music delivery; instead of signing huge record contracts, he lets people download tracks and then works off the donation system. He is an open source musician, and that in and of itself is pretty awesome.

Minneapolis was lucky enough last year to have him in concert on May 1st. He totally rickrolled us when he went to sing First of May in the encore, saying it was the only way he could think of to fuck everyone in the audience at the same time.

Eric introduced me to him a few years ago and I've been an avid fan ever since. I encourage you today, on the First of May, to check his stuff out and if you like it, to purchase a few tracks or maybe a robot.

If you like JoCo, comment with your favorite song, a video clip, or an anecdote. I'm sure he'll track back to this eventually and read your geekgasmic love.
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(no subject) [Apr. 23rd, 2009|06:55 pm]
Ethel the Blog
It came! It came!

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(no subject) [Apr. 20th, 2009|08:09 pm]
Ethel the Blog
batty_ just posted a picture her new book, Breaking Bad News with Baby Animals, which she received for her birthday today. In a sudden fit of consumerism and e-mimicry, I decided I could not live without it and ordered a copy for myself.



As a result, Amazon.com now wants me to buy a copy of Disapproving Rabbits. Full eljay circle, y'all.
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(no subject) [Apr. 19th, 2009|09:39 pm]
Ethel the Blog
Geek to 5K details:

I was originally going to see if I could modify the Couch to 5K training plan that I used, but honestly, I think it'll work perfectly for us as written.

It's a 9 week program. We have 10 weeks before the Heartbeat 5000. That gives a little bit of time in case you want to stretch it out a bit. It also means that you should start week 1 this week, the week of the 20th.

Remember, this program is designed for people who have never run before to ease into it -- it's a walk-jog-walk program. Don't race ahead, and if it's going too fast for you, stretch it out. If you can't run, try powerwalking. If you need more walk breaks, take them. The most important thing is that you keep trying at your own pace. As funny as it sounds, it's not a race. If it gets to be June 27th and you haven't completed all 9 weeks, so what? Do the race anyway. You're still way ahead of the game and you deserve a victory lap.

Training program for the link wearyCollapse )

The next things I need to do are to get a tshirt design made, and to inquire about group registration for HeartBeat 5000. I'm also hoping to get an actual SITE up quite soon. But in the meantime, let's start running! The first run is a total of 20 minutes, alternating 60 seconds jogging and 90 seconds walking.

Oh, and if you're out of town or have friends that would also like to run, I encourage you to train as well, and to extend the invitation to whoever you'd like.
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(no subject) [Apr. 18th, 2009|11:34 pm]
Ethel the Blog
15 miles tomorrow for me, and 26 for Seth -- yes, he is running a training MARATHON tomorrow. I'm gonna feel like a heel when I get in my car in Kenwood and zip zoom away from him in the rain.

Why, oh why did we not run today when it was beautiful and in the 60s, instead of tomorrow when it'll be rainy and in the 40s? I'm trying to see it as "character-building" instead of "bad planning."
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