I finished Camp Nano. It's late, I'm tired, I have church in the morning enjoy a random picture, victory post tomorrow.
I finished Camp Nano. It's late, I'm tired, I have church in the morning enjoy a random picture, victory post tomorrow.
SO! I was super behind on Camp Nanowrimo, so I dropped almost everything and prioritized it, and now I'm not. So I can do other things, like write this blog post.
But, it is 4:12am, so: I'm going to bed.
Pictured: Me, Loki, some vegan dinner, and some delicious word count.
Yeah, *that* house. The one that doesn't take down its "Christmas" lights. Ever.
Really, they're lights for the paths around our house, lights which would be WAY more expensive if we put them in as permanent fixtures. After all the (unexpected) expenses it took to renovate the place and all the manual work left to do, I think we're going to just have to wait a while before we get around to that bit.
And, unfortunately, the lights we had up got discontinued, so when we had to replace some strings after wear and damage (and re-replace them after we had to take out a tree on the neighbor's property line and a branch cut the strand) we're currently mis-matched. :-(
But it sure does make the front paths and porch nice and cozy at night.
Pictured: Our old house in California, which we're still slowly fixing up after the move East. It turns out we're not the only one in the neighborhood who's done this, but their setup looks way more organized than ours:
We'll get there. One day.
Yeah, you're gonna just have to put me down in the left column there. No offense to Doc Brown's DeLorean, but The Doctor's TARDIS could BE a DeLorean, if it wanted to. If there was a write-in, of course, I'd pick the Clockwork Time Machine, but the Machine is basically a TARDIS with the serial numbers filed off anyway.
Very tired, working on the social navigation benchmarks paper, no more post for you.
Pictured: Poll seen at a Starbucks while I was waiting on my car to be serviced.
So, day 3 begins! The con is going swimmingly: there are lots of people, everyone seems happy, the organizers feel it's going well, and I sold all my number ones! Even on Easter Sunday, people are still showing up!
Yesterday evening after panels were done, I chilled at the bar, worked on SPECTRAL IRON, struck up a conversation with a writer who saw me writing and had a lot of questions about getting back into the game. (Talk about doing the right thing putting you into the right places!), and still had time to catch the end of the Lee Presson and the Nails concert!
All in all Clockwork Alchemy appears to be a success. Here's hoping we do it again!
P.S. Almost forgot: at 2pm I will be on the panel for "Getting Past Chapter One" to help writers overcome their creative barriers!
Lent teaches us to learn to sacrifice. We're asked to give something up. We're asked to abstain from meat (well, land animals) on Fridays. And we're asked to fast on Good Friday ... which is today.
I'm not too happy that Clockwork Alchemy is Easter Weekend, but I understand that it's not everyone's holiday (and that this may have been the best weekend we could get). But I get it.
That doesn't absolve me of my responsibilities, though. I don't fully fast as a matter of policy - I don't think it's healthy to go starving your body - but I eat light on fasting days, just enough that my body gets food.
The choice tonight was particularly hard, though: the restaurant had cauliflower steak, one of my favorite meals. It would have been so easy to order that as being somehow "healthier" than other options.
But it wouldn't have been fasting. And, as a favorite, it would have been a gluttonous choice, so, reluctantly, I got the rather smaller hummus plate and had that as my meal.
Christians do these things to remind us of Jesus's suffering, but the Church doesn't want to remind us of Jesus for Jesus's sake - he doesn't need it. No, they want to remind us of Jesus's sacrifice for our own good.
Learning to sacrifice during Lent is like cross-training your moral muscles: it helps you exercise your decision making on small things, so that muscle can be used properly when we face larger things.
Tonight, for example, I was able to call upon that muscle to help me make the right choices. After dining with my friends, I reluctantly bid them adieu, and went to go deal with my missing costume.
I'd forgotten part of it, recall, and had to drive 45 minute to get it. But when I did so ... remember what I said about knowing you're doing the right thing when you end up being where you need to be?
A package had arrived - a trellis, purchased to help save the branches of a beloved tree. A package far too large for our house sitter, who has hurt her back. A package that almost certainly would have been stolen.
So, doing what I needed to do that evening may have helped me be where I needed to be to save the package from the neighborhood's package thieves, for starters, but there was much more.
These are little things, but every time I do the right thing and am rewarded for it, it seems to become just a little bit easier to do the right thing again the next time.
Pictured: tonight's hummus, my cauliflower steak, and the late-arriving trellis package.
SO! I survived the first day of Clockwork Alchemy, and only had to make one trek back to the house from the hotel to pick up something I forgot (something important - my frigging costume, not pictured because I wasn't wearing it). But the convention was great, and we had great talks on Worldbuilding with Madeline Holly-Rosing and Villains and Heroes with Sumiko Saulson and more, and the Author's Alley was delightful.
Most people seemed to think there were more people this year than last, possibly because (a) the hotel is cheaper and easier to stay in and (b) we continue our long slow slide back out of the pandemic. Certainly there were a good number of people at the morning panel, and even more for the afternoon panel.
And the hotel restaurant wasn't bad either! I got to spend some time with some friends in the evening nibbling away at some noshies before driving down to get my costume and some extra books. Oh, that's right - books ...I sold some! But don't worry, I have plenty more ...
Tomorrow I'll be at the following panels:
Hope to see you all there!
Pictured: Various panels and events from Clockwork Alchemy
You know, I don't comment on politics on this blog nearly enough, and I plan on changing that. But I just found out that the statute of limitations may have passed on the crimes Trump is accused of in New York.
Regardless of the merits of the case, we shouldn't be doing things like that. All too often we let things go that we should drop, or press things that we shouldn't, because of political appearances.
Hm. What does OpenAI"s ChatGPT language model have to say about this?
Has the statute of limitations passed on Donald Trump's indictment?the Centaur in dialog with ChatGPT.; emphasis mine.
As an AI language model, I cannot provide legal advice or make a definitive statement about a specific legal case. However, to provide some general information, the statute of limitations varies depending on the type of offense and the jurisdiction. In the United States, federal offenses typically have a five-year statute of limitations, but this can vary depending on the offense. State laws also have their own statutes of limitations for criminal offenses.
Regarding any potential indictment of Donald Trump, it would depend on the specific charges and the applicable statute of limitations. It is also important to note that the decision to indict someone is made by prosecutors based on the evidence and legal standards, and is not determined by whether the statute of limitations has expired or not.
Gee, thanks, AI overlord! Seems like the prosecutor's job here may have been to bring the indictment if they believed a crime was committed, even if the statute of limitations had passed. Let's get more specific:
What is the statute of limitations in New York?the Centaur in dialog with ChatGPT; emphasis mine.
In New York State, the statute of limitations for criminal offenses varies depending on the severity of the crime. Here are some examples:
- For most felony offenses, the statute of limitations is five years. However, for certain serious offenses such as homicide or terrorism, there is no statute of limitations.
- For misdemeanor offenses, the statute of limitations is typically two years.
- For certain sexual offenses committed against minors, the statute of limitations has been extended in recent years. For example, the statute of limitations for second-degree rape of a minor is now 20 years from the victim's 18th birthday, or within 10 years of the offense, whichever is later.
It's worth noting that the statute of limitations can be tolled, or paused, under certain circumstances, such as when the defendant is out of state or in hiding. In some cases, the statute of limitations may also be extended if new evidence is discovered.
According to Wikipedia, what Trump is accused of - falsifying business records - is normally a misdemeanor, but can become a felony if used to further another crime. From what I've read, the prosecution has withheld a lot of facts from the indictment to improve the surprise of their case at trial, so they may have more evidence forthcoming; but "The indictment raises novel and complex legal issues." Sheesh.
This isn't the way to do this.
I understand the desire to speak truth to power, and the importance of holding the powerful to account; but the way to uphold the rule of law is NOT to ignore the rule of law so we can bring a case. There's a word for that: a kangaroo court, "a court that ignores recognized standards of law or justice," leading to show trials.
Donald Trump certainly isn't my favorite politician, and perhaps he needs to be brought to justice; but we should also presume innocence until proven guilty. Here's hoping that either the District Attorney coughs up some very good evidence that justifies his actions, or that the case gets swiftly thrown out if his actions weren't justified. I just can't see any good coming from anything between those two extremes.
Pictured: Sunset in San Francisco.
Yeah, I know, that doesn't look like much of a sacrifice. But I needed to focus on getting a scientific paper edited, and posting about Clockwork Alchemy, and so I put aside blogging and even Camp Nano to make sure that those things got done. And the consequence? Why, I was right where I needed to be to meet some friends who just happened to show up at Cafe Venetia the same time I did, and we had a long and productive conversation about large language models, the nature of intelligence, and the human condition.
And color blindness. Did you know you can use perceptual tricks to fool the human brain into briefly perceiving colors that are visually impossible to see with the human (or any) eye, like stygian blue, a pure black that is also somehow blue at the same time? Neat. The Colour out of Space, here we come.
Hey folks, the Clockwork Alchemy steampunk convention is back, and in a new location, the San Mateo Marriott San Francisco Airport! I’ll have an author table there with all my Jeremiah Willstone books - the CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE and the Thinking Ink Press anthologies TWELVE HOURS LATER, THIRTY DAYS LATER and SOME TIME LATER, and much more, including the Dakota Frost urban fantasy series and my science fiction writing!
I will be at two author signings and four - count them, FOUR panels, including World Building, Who’s the Villain, Science of Airships, Secret Hideout or Secret Lair, and Getting Past Page One - hey, wait a minute, that is five, I counted them, FIVE panels! I may need a nap after all that. But not before I’ve signed a book or given a talk for you!
Time and Location:
Clockwork Alchemy 2023
Friday April 7 - Sunday April 9
San Mateo Marriott San Francisco Airport
1770 South Amphlett Blvd San Mateo, California 94402
And here's where you can find me:
Looking forward to seeing you all!
Pictured: A sampler from Clockwork Alchemy 2022.