Jul. 25th, 2017 01:00 pm

Dial-A-Wreck

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Posted by Jen

Remember how we all loved the game "Telephone" in kindergarten? Well, add in a cake, and the fun never stops!

This order was for a "black high heel":

(It's a hill, people. Get it?)

 

Specifying punctuation is always tricky:

Although I suppose if Aunt flashed Mom that would liven up the party, and it's certainly preferable to Aunt slashing Mom.

(Ok, this one is tricky, I know: the order was for Aunt/Mom - a slash, in other words.)

 

Here we have a beautifully done blue horse. Unfortunately, it was supposed to be a blue house.

 

If your message is "Philip...Woohoo!", and you actually have to say the words "dot dot dot", be prepared for just about anything.

 

And of course these never get old:

Although interestingly enough, I think that icing IS light pink. I guess the decorator was covering all her bases.

 

Thanks to Danielle M., Stefanie D., Rachel S., Michael T., and Chandra.

*****

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Posted by Beth Bernier

Favorite Bit iconAdam Christopher is joining us today with his novel Killing Is My Business. Here’s the publisher’s description:

Another golden morning in a seedy town, and a new memory tape and assignment for intrepid PI-turned-hitman―and last robot left in working order―Raymond Electromatic. But his skills may be rustier than he remembered in Killing Is My Business, the latest in Christopher’s robot noir oeuvre, hot on the heels of the acclaimed Made to Kill.

What’s Adam’s favorite bit?

Killing Is My Business cover image

ADAM CHRISTOPHER

Ray Electromatic, eponymous hero of the Ray Electromatic Mysteries – if hero is the right way to describe a robot who pretends to be a private detective when he’s really a paid assassin – has a problem.

Actually, that’s not strictly true – Ray Electromatic has lots of problems. A six-foot-something-else bronzed titanium titan, clad, like any half-decent private dick, in overcoat and hat, Ray’s biggest issue is his memory. He only has twenty-four hours of it, tucked away in a little reel-to-reel tape behind his chest panel. When the tape is up, he heads home to the office and the tape is switched to a new one under the supervision of his boss, a room-sized supercomputer called Ada.

Which means Ray doesn’t remember a damn thing about what he’s done – the perfect cover for a hit-robot, but quite often Ray wishes he had a clue or two about what he’s been up to in Hollywood, California, 1965. It doesn’t help that he doesn’t quite trust Ada, either, and then there’s the shady federal agents and the even shadier private contractors from thrice-shady International Automatics to watch out for.

So sure. Ray Electromatic has problems, but he is – or was – a detective, so once he starts leaving himself clues about what’s going on, he’s in his element. Because if the dirty little operation that he and Ada run is in danger of discovery, well, he needs to know what’s going on so he can protect them both.

But Ray’s other problem, the one that would keep him up at night if he didn’t have to switch off, is that he thinks he’s human.

Okay, that’s not strictly true either. Ray knows he is a robot. But in this glorious and far-distant sci-fi future of 1965, Ray’s creator, the perhaps-not-so-mysteriously-deceased Professor Thornton, realized that the secret to true artificial intelligence was to use a template based on a human mind as the spark of creation. So Ray Electromatic is, in a way, Professor Thornton – not a duplicate or a clone, but an AI that shares some of his creator’s personality and tastes and even (although this isn’t supposed to happen) memories. Ray is his own robot, and he knows all about the template, and he absolutely knows he is a robot and not a human being, but that doesn’t stop him… well, thinking about things.

My favorite bit of Killing is my Business, the second Ray Electromatic Mystery, is in chapter one. Here, Ray is staking out his next target – Vaughan Delaney, a planner for the city of Los Angeles. Ray doesn’t know why Delaney has to die and he doesn’t care – Ada gets the jobs, he carries them out – but in the three weeks he spends watching Delaney’s office, Ray has time to consider the lives of the human beings around him. He watches them go to work, he watches them go home. He even gets some very human urges:

It was a busy street and the office got a lot of foot traffic, some of which even stopped to admire the car that was the same color as a fire engine parked right outside the door. Back on my side of the street there was a drugstore down on the corner that got a lot of foot traffic too. I watched people come and go and some of those people were carrying brown paper bags. Some people went inside and stayed there, sitting on stools at the bench inside the front window as they drank coffee and ate sandwiches.

I watched them a while longer and then I thought I’d quite like a sandwich and a coffee to pass the time. I didn’t need to sit and watch the building. Vaughan Delaney’s schedule was as regular as the oscillators in my primary transformer. I had time to spare.

I got out of the car and stood on the sidewalk for a moment, one hand on the driver’s door, looking over at the office building. A sandwich and a coffee still felt like a great idea. It was the kind of thing you got when you spent a lot of time waiting and watching. It helped pass the time, like smoking and talking about baseball with the boys and making your own flies for fly-fishing.

Of course, I had no need for a coffee or a sandwich. If I walked down to the drugstore and went inside and bought one of each I wouldn’t have any use for them on account of the fact that I didn’t eat or drink.

I was a robot.

And still as I stood there in the street the faint memory of the taste of fresh hot coffee tickled the back of my circuits. An echo of another life, maybe. A life that didn’t belong to me but that belonged to my creator, Professor Thornton.

A coffee and a sandwich would be a real waste, but maybe the drugstore could sell me something else. Maybe I could get a magazine. A magazine or a paperback book. That sounded fun. I had two hours to kill before I followed the target on his weekly jaunt around the City of Angels.

That’s Ray’s problem. He’s a robot who sometimes feels like a human, but he can’t do a thing about it, and he’s not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but what he does know is that even if he feels this way each and every day he won’t remember a blind thing about it, thanks to his limited memory tape.

I like Ray. He’s very good at what he does but he’s flawed and he’s uncertain about a lot of things. There’s an air of melancholy about him. He’s the last robot in the world, and he knows it, and sometimes he dreams of another life that wasn’t his.

And then he gets on with the job, because he’s a professional – another echo from Professor Thornton’s template.

LINKS

Adam on Twitter

Adam’s website

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Indiebound

Powell’s

BIO

Adam Christopher’s debut novel Empire State was SciFiNow’s Book of the Year and a Financial Times Book of the Year. The author of Made To KillStandard Hollywood Depravity and Killing Is My Business, Adam’s other novels include Seven WondersThe Age Atomic and The Burning Dark. Adam has also written the official tie-in novels for the hit CBS television show Elementary, and the award-winning Dishonored video game franchise, and with Chuck Wendig, wrote The Shield for Dark Circle/Archie Comics. Adam is also a contributor to the Star Wars: From A Certain Point Of View 40th anniversary anthology.

Born in New Zealand, Adam has lived in Great Britain since 2006.

The post My Favorite Bit: Adam Christopher talks about KILLING IS MY BUSINESS appeared first on Mary Robinette Kowal.

Jul. 25th, 2017 11:07 am

Rush Limbaugh, the prophet

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Posted by Holly

Rush Limbaugh and the Bible coverRush Limbaugh and the Bible
Evearitt
1993

Submitter: An entire book that is a treatise on proving that Rush Limbaugh is a “prophet of political conservatism in America.” (page 15) Yet, there is this pesky quote of Rush’s, “The show is devoted exclusively to what I think. I do not attempt to find out what the people of the country are thinking.” This book is filled with with gems that bring people together such as The White Man’s Burden, homosexuals portraying themselves as victims and women not being fit to serve in the military.

The coup de grâce is this quote “So multiculturalism, which portrays American history and even all of Western civilization as nothing but misery and racist, sexist, capitalist oppression, is the tool of revenge of man who have failed to assimilate and fit into the mainstream American Life.”

Holly: Before everyone piles on, and I’m sure Submitter would agree, this book was probably not the worst choice for a public library serving a politically conservative, Christian community in the early 1990s. In fact, any public library building a truly viewpoint-balanced collection in the 90s, no matter what demographics they served, might have had this. That said, Submitter’s examples are definitely eyebrow-raising for many (myself included, although that is honestly beside the point). I’d weed it because it is old and no longer circulating, not because I disagree with its contents.

 

Rush Limbaugh and the Bible contents

The White Man's Burden

Women in Combat

Animal Rights

Rush Limbaugh and the Bible quote

The post Rush Limbaugh, the prophet appeared first on Awful Library Books.

Jul. 24th, 2017 09:07 pm

New art release, much done...

ellenmillion: (Default)
[personal profile] ellenmillion
The tarot expo was really fun and inspiring. I have used it to kickstart my muse on the Sketch Tarot project I started a gazillion years ago, and used THAT to kickstart a workup of new rewards at my Patreon - there is now a $3 level that includes a sketch tarot file every month. And a $4 level that includes another extra coloring page every month. And there are higher levels that you'll have to click that link to see... *whistles innocently*

Today was a crazy day. I ordered lumber to complete the woodshed, and they surprised me by saying they could deliver it tomorrow. Which meant I needed to get some bags of gravel to level the pad for the steps. And I got new propane for the grill, and I took a flat tire in to get repaired (for free!), and I bought dog food and got replacement parts for a broken lamp and went to the post office and got water and wrote about a thousand words and added an epilogue to my not-a-book. I even spread out some of the gravel, though I had to stop before it was finished because that's hard work and I had to go to bellydance practice.

*lies on the floor*

Here's the last of the pieces I did for my feature in Color On! Magazine:



Now I'm going to go to bed and sleep the sleep of the just. Or the just tired, anyway.
rahirah: (su_editor)
[personal profile] rahirah posting in [community profile] su_herald
TARA: of course you want to bring your mother back, and I wish we could, but it's not possible.

DAWN: Why? You guys do magic for all kinds of things.

WILLOW: We do, but...

TARA: This is different. Magic can't be used to alter the natural order of things.

DAWN: But all you do is mess with the natural order of things. You make things float & dissappear and...

TARA: But we don't mess with life and death. Dawn.. I know how bad you hurt...

DAWN: You don't. They put her in the ground!

~~Forever~~



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alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat posting in [community profile] b5_revisited
Recap and discussion for 4 x 15 – No Surrender, No Retreat

Another episode that reflects modern times. I could fix a lot of things if I had a Whitestar fleet.

“Enough is enough!” - John Sheridan, Babylon 5, Sept 2, 2261

Sheridan has called the council together. He tells them that he is now asking for something from then since he has been patrolling their borders with the Whitestars. He wants them to all send one destroyer class ship from each world to help protect Babylon 5 and he wants them to sever ties with Earth. Ivanova tells them that 10,000 civilians have been killed in attacks on Proxima III. Sheridan says it’s time to do something but he thinks the alien races should not get involved, as to not give Clark more ammunition in his anti-alien campaign.

All this while, Starfuries are flying all around, training and drilling for the coming attack. They are going to liberate Proxima III

"From now on, Earth stands alone. We're taking back Proxima III, we're taking back Mars, and then we're going to take back our home, or die trying."

Marcus rushes into the meeting with info about Proxima III and how the colony is running out of time. They are blockaded by Earth and are being attacked as well. He says the Heracles and the Pollux destroyed the civilian transports and are blockading the colony. John asks Marcus if they can identify the other ships who have not fired on civilians. He will give them a chance to defect. He says they must commit totally to this operation. "No surrender, no retreat."

Garibaldi shows up at Londo’s apartments to ask for some help in getting to Centauri space though we do not find out why. Vir lets slip that Londo is at a meeting and he lets slip what Sheridan is about to do. Garibaldi says he will things his own way to save Earth. (I have to admit, I am SICK of Garibaldi by now.)

Ivanova is getting the Starfury crews ready. She tells them they have codes to communicate and they must use them since they can’t trust any others… even voices. "Trust Ivanova, trust yourself. Anybody else, shoot him."

Sheridan sends three White Stars toward Earth – one by earth and two by mars. They a re the decoys to make Clark think they are going to attack Earth. Perhaps he will pull some of this ships away from Proxima III. The Whitestar fleet will be hiding in Hyperspace near Proxoma III. Marcus says they are taking fire already on the colony.

Londo goes to visit G’kar though G’kar doesn’t seem at all interested in making nice. Londo proposes they sign a joint agreement of mutual support with Babylon5 and G’kar is angry and uninterested, ignoring all of Londo’s friendly overtures and refusing to drink with him. Londo leaves, rather sadly.

Sheridan briefs the pilots and off they all go into hyperspace – Whatestar II has the B5 logo painted on her so there can be no mistaking who the ship belongs to.

There is a battle. I shall not describe it but suffice to say, one ship is very aggressive, one is blown to bits and in the end, the battle goes to Sheridan. One Commander, who relieved the Captain of duty to save her shipmates from senseless death, is going to repair her ship and keep the captain under arrest. One of the other will help the colonists on Proxima III to rebuild. Two more will join Sheirdan and fight Clark and his dictatorship.

15_battle 15_wsfire

Back on B5, Londo is sitting morosely in the bar, drinking, when G’kar joins him and says he will sign the agreement but not on the same page and takes that drink he refused before. When he leaves, Londo smiles, a bit sadly but a smile.

The Voice of the Resistance announces the liberation of Proxima III, the joint statement by the narn and Centauri.

Garibaldi leaves for Mars, saying he will never return.

*

Quotes:
“Enough is enough!” - John Sheridan, Babylon 5, Sept 2, 2261

*

Questions/discussion:

1. The problematic thing in these eps is Garibaldi. How much is his mind control and how much is him? He seemed to resent Sheridan from the beginning. I am actually quite surprised at how angry I am at him.
2. Do you think G’kar meant to sign the agreement all along? Was he just letting Londo suffer a little because he could?
3. Sheridan said: “Our mandate is to defend Earth against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Now Clark has become that enemy. Your oath is to the Alliance and to the people back home, not to any particular government.” Comments?
4. Is it still treason if you’re doing the right thing?
5. Wouldn’t these men and women who commanded the ships have given it more thought that we see them do, considering that they may have family in harm’s way back on Earth? Or did they figure it’s now al or nothing?

*

Sources:

Lurker’s Guide to Babylon 5: http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/countries/us/guide/081.html
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0517674/trivia?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu
Babylon Project: http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/No_Surrender,_No_Retreat
Jul. 24th, 2017 01:00 pm

Pool Wars

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Posted by Jen

"If you only knew the POWER [squeak] of the Dark Side. JOIN ME [squeak] and we can [squeeeeak] RULE the... [squeaksqueaksqueakSPLASH!]

 

"I find your lack of balance...disturbing.

"Towel?"

 

Thanks to Angel K. for the splishin' and the splashin'.

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:26 am

Casserole Cuisine

[syndicated profile] awfullibrarybooks_feed

Posted by Mary Kelly

casserole recipes

Casseroles
Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers
Favorite Recipes Press
1982

As a true Midwesterner, I embrace casserole cuisine. However, not all casseroles are created equal and this book proves it. Note the “surprise” casserole. (I think my mother had a similar recipe.) The other recipe worth noting is called “Ned’s Goop.” Looking at the ingredients, the word “goop” is fitting. The casserole staples always include a can of cream of mushroom soup, cheese of some kind and some kind of crunch factor, such as potato chips or bread crumbs. I won’t even comment on the calorie count or sodium consumed.

Enjoy!

Mary

recipes for casseroles with ground beef

casseroles with pork

The post Casserole Cuisine appeared first on Awful Library Books.

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:56 am

new Penric impending

filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
[personal profile] filkferengi posting in [community profile] vorkosigan
Lois McMaster Bujold says, here:

https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/15463253-new-penric-impending

I am pleased to report that I have finished the first draft of a new Penric & Desdemona novella. (For that peculiar value of "finished" that means, "still dinking till it's pulled from the writer's twitchy hands.")

Title will be "Penric's Fox"

Length, at this moment, is around 37,400 words. It is more-or-less a sequel to "Penric and the Shaman", taking place about eight or nine months after that story.

Final editing and formatting, arranging for cover art to send it out into the world nicely dressed, etc., will take some unknown amount of time and eyeball-endurance, but e-pub will likely happen in August.

My computer file tells me I started typing the opening on March 3rd, but of course there was lead-up to that. It is, in general, hard to tell or remember when a project segues over from "notion" to "planning", although the notion had been with me for some time. Story notions are like a collection of vaguely related objects rattling around in a box; planning starts when some key object that connects them all drops in, and things suddenly get interesting.

Ta, L.
Jul. 23rd, 2017 11:10 pm

Announcing

[personal profile] weyodi
"The Root and The Seed and The Thief In Between" by Weyodi
Chapters 1-10 available FREE Online
at weyodi.com plus bonus rude poetry
Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:11 am

(no subject)

[personal profile] weyodi
Last night I dreamed I was trying to get to the Indian Health Service Hospital to see "The Dr." while I was writing the last episode of Dr. Who, ever. At one point I hitched a ride to what I thought was IHS but turned out only to be a 1/12 scale model built by two guys in the mountains. When I finally did get to IHS (built terrifyingly into the side of a cliff over a rushing river) I discovered that my former online friend turned meatlife friend and neighbor grinnifer/fukingprole/typodmary was a doctor there (which was extra frustrating since I started the adventure at her house- if I'd only told her where I was going I could have hitched a ride with her). Also the final doctor in the Dr. Who series was played by a remarkably well preserved Tom Baker.

Oh my brain is weird.
Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:00 pm

Superhero Sweets For SDCC

[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

This weekend many of My People, aka geeks, have converged on San Diego Comic-Con - and I'm not there. [sob]

BUT!

The rest of us can still look at awesome comic book cakes and dream, right?

(By Bella Cakes)

Look at this gorgeous Wonder Woman cake! LOOK AT IT.

***

Ok, you can stop now.

Because na na na na na na... BATMAN!

(By Nayrunia)

LOVE this design; so much impact for a (relatively) simple silhouette.

 

But maybe you prefer the Dark Knight a little less... dark?

(By Lindsay Colasurdo)

Pretty piles of punchy pink, Batman!

You know, this color combo is really starting to grow on me.

 

Here's a fun Hulk cake with some priceless reactions:

(By Cheri Ross Sarner for Icing Smiles)

I admire your restraint, Elijah; I'd be gnawing on Hulk's elbow by now.

 

Anyone else love Supergirl?

'Cuz you could totally use this cake for Supergirls OR Supermans (er... men):

(By &Sweets)

 

Oh! And did you know Groot has his own comic book now? It looks fantastic, just like this cake:

(By Aroma de Azucar)

And I love that Rocket!

 

If you're after more classic comic books, though, check this out:

(By 21 Cake Lane)

Awwwwesome. The colors, the ascending dot pattern, the perfect overlapping covers - it's ALL good.

 

And another classic: Wonder Woman!

(Baker unknown)

So wonderful.

(See what I did there?)

 

Not exactly a superhero, but you have to see this fun comic book/pop art cake, made entirely with buttercream!

(By fredbutt)

C'mon. How fun is this??

 

Yet another reason why geek weddings rock:

(By Exquisite Wedding Cakes)

Joker & Harley wedding cake.

 

And finally, a dreamy color combo for some of our fav superheroes:

(By Cake Me To Your Party)

...plus maybe a favorite villain? 'Cuz I like to think that's one of Harley Quinn's bombs on top. :)

Happy Sunday, guys! Hope those of you at SDCC are having fun!

 

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

waddiwasiwitch: (pic#7823688)
[personal profile] waddiwasiwitch posting in [community profile] su_herald
Buffy: Your logic does *not* resemble our Earth logic.
Xander: Mine is much more advanced.


~~The Wish~~



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[personal profile] restfield posting in [community profile] su_herald


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Jul. 21st, 2017 11:35 pm

(no subject)

[personal profile] weyodi
I won the academic anxiety dream discussion in the car.
I had no idea.
Apparently it's not too common to dream of getting a test with questions like.
When are you going to give up?
How long have you known you're a failure?
Who exactly do you think you're fooling?
etc etc etc
ellenmillion: (Default)
[personal profile] ellenmillion
I have book hangover, so bad. I finished the not-a-book (my fourth!) late Wednesday night, not dragging into bed until about midnight.

Yesterday, I was too busy to really process it, and too tired. Guppy got me up at 3 in the morning, though she went right back to sleep. That, with the late night, meant I was pretty wiped. And then we put the roof on the woodshed! It is an actual woodshed, with a roof! After a day of blistering heat, it was obliging enough to rain last night, and we went out and stood in our perfectly dry (if wall-less, still) woodshed. Horrah!

Today, however, I wandered around staring at things a lot, feeling vaguely overwhelmed and more than a little lost. The book... is done? It's... done? Wait, what? Professional writers may laugh. There are a billion things to do, not the least of which is start the next book, but I'm mostly just finding myself wanting to lie down on the floor and watch dust settle, or binge-watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer or something.

And there's Sketch Fest today! https://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/

I haven't done anything for it yet, but I hope to tonight.

I'm a featured artist at a Tarot Expo tomorrow, which is fun! I am going to be bringing art supplies and offering $15 on-the-spot commissions for personal tarot ACEOs. Just rough sketches, color or pencil. We'll see how it goes. Locals, I'll be at the Coop Plaza, 12-4, at Woven Sylver. They are going to have tarot readers and demos and workshops from 10-5. (And probably cookies, but don't quote me.)

It's taken me HOURS to write this, so here's some more new art, and I'm going to go eat chocolate and pour a stiff drink. BOOK DONE. BRAIN GONE.


Another of the exclusive pieces for Color On! Magazine.

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