bkdelong: (techno deity)
So I've been reading quite a bit lately - I always have a paperback in my pocket when I know I'm going to be somewhere with some downtime to read (including the 35min commute on the train in the AM) and it follows me to my nightstand in the evenings.

I've glommed onto urban fantasy sparked by first reading Piers Anthony's "Incarnation of Immortality" series in the mid-90s - I pick the series back up every so often when I run out of others to read or am waiting for a new book in a series to come in like many of those I reference below.

I'm struggling to find new series that aren't in the Vampire or Werewolf genre. They're everywhere!

Recently the biggest series that I've just completed was [livejournal.com profile] rachelcaine's "Weather Warden" series about a secret, UN-like group stationed around the planet imbued with the various powers to control the elements and actually tone down the very-living but sleeping "Mother Earth"'s powers which wreak havoc in the form of various natural disasters - there are Earth, Fire and Weather Wardens.

The series was a great read and [livejournal.com profile] rachelcaine has followed it up with a spinoff. Mother Earth has manifested representatives of her "energies" in the form of the Djinn. Beings made of pure fire having varying qualities of their mythical counterpart. The "Outcast Season" series is about what happens when one of these Djinn is "cast off" from the collective into human form but "bound" to a Warden in order to draw energy for from the Earth for her magic. Only two books so far but quite good.

Since then, I've also got into [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire's "October Daye" series which is where the Seelie Court meets real life. October is a private detective changeling (half-human, half-fey) who lost everything she had and comes back to continue her work. Yet, as a reluctant knight to the fiefdom of her Duke, she is often called into service of his Court as well. Book 3 comes out September 7th.

In a mix of the elemental and pseudo-fey comes Jennifer Estep's "Elemental Assassin" series where if you don't have giant or dwarven blood, you may also have stone, ice, fire, or air elemental powers as well. Of course, being a mundane human in the normal world is perfectly acceptable as well...

The lead character, Gin Blanco, is an assassin with stone elemental powers - and quite the bad ass. She was taken in by the owner of a BBQ joint who had his own background as an assassin who has both trained her and became her handler. There's quite the cast of supporting characters and I don't actually mind that vampires actually exist (as mostly background) in this series.

Again, this series is only two books in - so it's fairly fresh.

I've read a few of [livejournal.com profile] jimbutcher's "Dresden Files" and I'm guessing I'll head over to consume the rest of the series. I enjoyed the one-season TV Series on Sci-Fi (when it was still called that) as well.

So what's next? There's probably more I'm forgetting offhand and I am certainly a sci-fi reader - that may be a different post. Apparently, I'm digging series that seem to have bad-ass female protagonists- (though I'm not adverse to a male "hero", I just appreciate bucking stereotypes) and again, my quest is to avoid the apparent glut in Vampire and Werewolf (or blatant "Were-creature premise to the point that it was an attempt to barely differentiate between werewolves but still capture the werewolf fan" series) and demons I can take a crack at within reason. I'm enjoying these series that are bucking the typical urban fantasy stereotypes.

So, thoughts? Ideas? Recommendations?
bkdelong: (techno highlander)
Any plans Friday night or Saturday for a geeky-group of folks to go see "Scott Pilgrim vs the World" in the Boston/Camberville/North Shore area? As much as I don't mind hitting the movies alone, this is a movie I would love to see with others who have read and enjoyed the series (other fans) and maybe go out for a bit afterward.

I spent most of the month of July going to movies on my own and this one deserves a group-viewing.

Drop a comment/email/tweet/SMS and let me know!
bkdelong: (Default)
I just dropped my dear wife and sweet kids off at Logan; seeing them for the last time until July 27th.

Tomorrow, my wife is on a plane to Singapore for two weeks and the kids are at Summer Camp at my father-in-law's private school.

My wife gets back to her parents and then 4 days later they all are off to a family wedding in CA.

So there's just me. And the cat.

I've spent the last 4 months staying home and focusing on better relationships with them so while they're gone I'm going to attempt to see if I can remember how to go to events in Camberville. Possibly Diesel on a Tuesday, maybe a few theatre shows and definitely a lot of movie-going; though truth be told I'm wholly disappointed at Hollywood's offerings over the next 3 weeks. What happened to the "Summer.Blockbuster"?

Anyway, I can drive into the city two days a week and then I need to come in from Salem after work at that point.

I'm sure I'll post more as the expected loneliness settles in but if there's anything going on yu wouldn't mind including me in, please consider inviting me.

I know I haven't been the most social of people this year and work continues to be very busy so I can't guarantee I'll make it to everything but I'll certainly be appreciative of invites.

Forward, ho!
bkdelong: (pmrp)
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Auditions for The Big Broadcast of October 30th, 1938 are upon us. Here are some last-minute notes:

PLEASE BE SURE YOU HAVE DONE THE FOLLOWING (if applicable):

  1. Signed up for an appointment slot using the Appointment Form.
  2. Downloaded and read the Audition Info Sheet.
  3. Downloaded and filled out the Audition Availability Calendar
  4. Downloaded and read the Show & Character Descriptions for The Frank Cyrano Byfar Hour and The War of the Worlds.
  5. Downloaded and read the Audition Sides for The War of the Worlds.
  6. Filled out the On-line Audition eForm (or downloaded and filled out the PDF version of the Audition Form).
  • Please bring anything you downloaded and filled out, along with any other material you want us to have, such as a resume.
  • Please plan to arrive at least 15-20 minutes early so you can check in and fill out anything you may need to or may have forgotten or to update your information.


NOTES FOR WOMEN AUDITIONING FOR THE SOLO SINGING ROLE OF JENNY BRENNAN:

Please reply and let us know if you plan to:

  • Sing your sample piece a capella
  • Bring music for our accompanist to perform
  • Bring someone to accompany you
  • Bring a CD or MIDI file for us to play


NOTES FOR POTENTIAL FOLEY/FX PERFORMERS:

There will be at least one FoleyFX Team person available to interview you, so be prepared to answer some questions and talk about your experiences or interests.


OTHER INFO

Auditions are at Unity Church of God, 6 William Street, Somerville, at the corner of College Avenue, near Davis Square (map: http://tinyurl.com/unitychurchsomerville)

If you are running late, please call 617-460-5237 or send e-mail to auditions@pmrp.org. We'll get it on-site.

------------

All right, that is about everything I have. Please keep alert for any additional information. We'll see you folks this week!

The Big Broadcast Audition Team

bkdelong: (Default)
I received this request from a friend of mine on Facebook tonight in the OSINT community:

"URGENT REQUEST: Project FREEBIRD has been acquiring data at a much faster rate then expected. In order to make this informative to those that do not speak Farsi we need translators. Background checks will be required. If you have information contact myself or recruiter@science-advisors.com. FRIENDS PLEASE REPOST THIS TO YOUR WALLS!"


So I asked for a little more information for those who would obviously ask the questions:


Project FREEBIRD is the open source code name for a project to translate documents, videos and other items into English for us in a large collaborative web effort to tell the world of the events leading up to, and following the Iranian election.


This is a little similar to my efforts through The Interdictor Project (TIP) regarding taking scanner frequencies of EMS, Police, Fire, Municipality, Military & NGO streamed online during natural disasters, monitor them for salient bits of information and pass it on via various methods of Net-based communication.

Except this project seems to have a whole lot of heavy hitters in the ex-law enforcement, military and intelligence community interested in it.
bkdelong: (Default)
OK, so I am finishing up some things for work and was wondering if I could get a little help finishing up my anniversary present for my wife.

Long story short:

* She has very few friends - those who are, she's quite close to.

* Her closest used to live in London and she hasn't seen her since I flew her out as a Valentine's Day gift in 2006.

* So I'm flying her friend & son up tomm. from Florida where they recently moved back to for Sat- Mon.

----------

My wife does not like "surprises". She has been at a two day, all-day meeting for the iLabs Consortium she is putting together. Tonight, to alert her to the gift, I am trying to put together a series of cards in this order:

1 Card from kids with 7 tickets to BOS Museum of Science for Sat - DONE
2 Card with gift certificate to favorite Indian Restaurant - DONE
3 Card with 2 certs for non-cheesy, 90s style (were at Northeastern in 90s) girls-night out plus babysitter - NEED HELP HERE
4 Card with DTP/well-designed, old school flight itinerary for friend's flights - NEED HELP HERE (this will include pic of friends)


So basically, I'm looking for someone who can find me a good template for 3 and 4 or even design one if willing....and then suggest what cardstock or Avery paper I should ask for when I run it to Staples/Kinkos tonight.

Any other ideas to make her excited are certainly welcome. I'll be getting her something small and tin, traditional of course. :) But I think the plane tickets and her best friend will be surprise enough.

I'm hoping to get this set to print by 3pm.

I plan on delivering it to her tonight when she gets home about 9pm.

Any help I get I will return with a Quid Pro Quo (I always use that term wrong) - because I do believe in karmic return of favors.
bkdelong: (Default)
Quick post from the office.

I am having challenges trying to come up with a costume for Halloween. I go for realism when imitating characters from the various fandoms/fiction universes I play in and frankly am coming up short. So...

I'm feeling kind of steampunky. I will admit to not knowing much about the genre beyond the basic pop culture and the Girl Genius comic, which has a lot to work with - Volume 7 & Volume 8 Cast Lists give examples.

Of course, the problem is I would have begun fabricating Steampunk gear this summer had I thought about it...seeing as I have neither the skills or experience to do either.

So I'm looking for:

1. Places to gather pre-done or parts for a Steampunkish costume (including accessories)
2. Folks on my Friends List or FOAFs who do this for fun and might be willing to barter
3. Other suggestions for fandoms / Sci-Fi/Fantasy fiction universes that can make for an interesting Halloween costume for a big guy with a beard.

bkdelong: (Default)
ETA 2: Sunday, 11am ET - Updated post with User Manual for this Project.

ETA: Now working with Andy Carvin/acarvin of http://gustav08.ning.com. Need far more staff, managers and transcribers. Wrote draft Interdictor Standard Operating Procedures for the project that need input but give idea of what's going on.

---------------

Those of you who have known me a while, know that while I was between jobs when Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005, I got sucked into a fascinating project that was pulling data straight from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas and redistributing it to the masses. This all-consuming 24/7 effort led to be volunteering with the Red Cross, getting my Ham Radio license and quite a bit of Disaster Services volunteer training.

Well, in about 24 hours Gustav went from being upgrade TO Hurricane status and at the NHC 2pm update was just announced as moving to Category 4 status and predicting Category 5 stage by tonight.

The project was called Interdictor, named after [livejournal.com profile] interdictor who was stuck in DirectNIC's NOLA before, during and after Katrina tasked with the Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery efforts.

When all forms of communication went down, folks in outlying states started livestreaming scanners and a whole slew of volunteers started transcribing them in #interdictor on irc.freenode.net (eventually moved to several different #interdictor-scannerN channels with N being a numerical value) and created a full-fledged operation posting the logs to the Web. People also monitored articles, reports and blogs throughout the Web and the channels became a location to disseminate such info.

I didn't really do anything for 2006 or 2007 but something seems...different about Gustav. So I decided to see if I could start the project back up.

So...it's going. I won't have even remotely the time I had to devote to it last time due to work and parent/family duties but I wanted to devote the time I could.

The Meme part of this? Please spread the word.

We have the following resources going:

  • #interdictor, irc.freenode.net

  • @interdictor on Twitter

  • #Gustav on Twitter

  • Scanner Frequencies at http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Hurricane_Gustav (an attempt to spinoff the original, well-done Katrina page)

  • Interdictor-Gustav Flickr Group

  • Interdictor Project YouTube Channel


  • I foresee the following needs:

    - People with scanners they have the systems and bandwidth to livestream
    - Folks sharp re: IRC who can pull in an eggdrop/TCL bot (Maybe ChumpBot?) to log, aggregate RSS feeds and post to the Web.
    - Someone to make sure to reach the Twitter folks to let them know things may get traffic-heavy with Gustav.
    - People to join #interdictor on IRC and transcribe, post news articles and help out
    - Folks who are good at coordinating, organizing, managing and leading to join #interdictor and keep the project running smoothly in a timely manner while managing a disparate and ever-changing, often asynchronous volunteer staff
    - Folks who can create backups of the logs or come up with additional social media project ideas

    Any other ideas?

    Pass it on!
bkdelong: (Default)
I know there is a few scripts that will tell you the NUMBER of shared interests you have with various friends and what interests you SHOULD consider adding based on your friends....but has anyone found a script that either lets you enter an interest and see how many of your friends share it or that lists all your interests and which friends share them?

Ideally, I'd really also like to find (or build) a script that will do the same things for FOAFs (Friend of a Friends) so I can see who I SHOULD meet. ;)

I would consider paying or bartering for such a script to be created.....as I think it would step up the value of LJ as a social network.

Anyone?

Profile

bkdelong: (Default)
bkdelong

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