November 13th, 2006

The General

I lost 38 pounds and my eye turned to glass

As it happened, I got no writing done last night, and in fact was up until almost 0100 this morning before I finally put down Shadow of the Giant and went to bed. I got my minimum daily requirement of six hours' sleep, but I'm thinking about an early bedtime tonight, as in right after dinner. Thud.

In the meantime, I want to throw some reflection on myself out there by way of heading off some misperceptions and hopefully avoiding some trouble down the road.
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That's all.
Boss Coffee

"First thing we do...

...let's kill all the lawyers," Shakespeare's Cut-Throat Jack suggested. jolest and I would add marketers and salesmen to that, and after we get done with that lot, we might profitably turn our attention to urban planners, who don't know what they don't know about crime in the big city and apparntly can't learn from history any better than any other academics. The article hs a lot of interesting things to say about the ruinous idealism exhibited by the devotees of Le Corbusier, and manages to talk a lot about the benefits of private/small-group ownership of parks and other public spaces while avoiding the "tragedy of the commons" cliche. RTWT.

(Via Mitch Berg, who was teeing off on the Strib editorial board this morning.)
Boss Coffee

A silhouette, a cigarette, and a gesture of disdain

Well, that's just great. One of the minions at St. Mary's business office called to let me know that the tuition refund is going to be sent back to the lender, since I have a class load of zero credits. I expostulated that this was not what the associate dean had said in his letter and I most definitely did not want the loan to go back to the lender. At this point they've bucked me up the chain to the Director of Financial Aid, who hasn't seen said letter but is going to chase it down, read it, and call me back tomorrow. They claim they're required to send it back (to the lender) by Federal law, but there was nothing about that in the promissory note I signed, and it sounds rather dodgy besides. We'll see how this works out. I'd prefer not to threaten them wth a lawsuit, but damn it, I need that money.

On a happier note, I finished (and promptly restarted) Orson Scott Card's Shadow of the Giant, which is the last of the shadow tetralogy that parallels Ender's Game.
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I'm going to digress for a moment to talk about the WW2 Pacific scenario of Civilization III, which I spent far too much time on this weekend when I should have been writing. The game's mechanics cause some problems for it as a simulation, which can be really irritating. The two big ones that give me a pain are: there's no obvious way to get fighters to escort your bombers, so they often wind up getting shot down by enemy fighters over the target; also, there's no quanitifcation of supply either on a strategic or operational level. Ships can cruise forever without refueling, and one hex of oil can seemingly supply entire fleets of ships, wings of aircraft scattered from Burma to Tarawa, and tanks all over China, Borneo and the Philippines. This means that there's no real way for the Allies to replicate the savagely effective submarine campaign that destroyed Japan's merchant fleet and thus its economy, and no real reason for the Japanese to go to war, since there's oil in Indochina and the game starts in December 1941 with the Japanese solidly in control of the Fench colony. As a game, it's fun; as a simulation, it sucks horribly.
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So. Another day, another dollar...think I'll head on home, do some tuna for dinner and crash early. Tomorrow promises to be full of stress.