Sturgeon’s Law

Ninety Per­cent Of Every­thing Is Crap

Derived from a quote by sci­ence fic­tion author Theodore Stur­geon, who once said, “Sure, 90% of sci­ence fic­tion is crud. That’s because 90% of every­thing is crud.” Oddly, when Sturgeon’s Law is cited, the final word is almost invari­ably changed to ‘crap’.

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Ask Brian

Not Triskaidekaphobic

Triskaideka­pho­bia (from Greek tris mean­ing “3”, kai mean­ing “and”, deka mean­ing “10” and pho­bos mean­ing “fear” or “mor­bid fear”) is fear of the num­ber 13 and avoid­ance to use it.

When we checked into the Hamp­ton Inn & Suites in Brunswick, GA this evening we were given the room 313. After unload­ing the car and we were walk­ing through the lobby I remarked to Donna,“It is a good thing we are not triskaidekaphobic.”

When we got off the ele­va­tor on the third floor we took one look at the out­side of the room and went right back down to the front desk to change our room. We aren’t afraid of the num­ber 13, but we are afraid of the room right next to the ele­va­tor and its pal the ice machine.

The asso­ciate at the desk said, “No prob­lem, we’ll get you a dif­fer­ent room.” She re-magnetized the keys and wrote our new num­ber on the sleeve — 410. When we got off the ele­va­tor on the fourth floor instead of imme­di­ately turn­ing left to door num­ber thir­teen we turned right and went 2 doors down. Wow, thanks.


This started almost as a quid pro quo with a co-worker that I got to watch Orphan Black, but now I’m kind of wait­ing impa­tiently to see this.

In our con­ver­sa­tions of TV shows to watch she men­tions that she is excited to see that one of her favorite book series is finally com­ing to the screen. Starz is pro­duc­ing a TV series of the Out­lander books writ­ten by Diana Gabal­don. She tells me it is about an Eng­lish Army nurse from WWII who gets trans­ported back to the mid-1700’s Scotland.

I’m a sucker for time travel, books or movies, so I’m inter­ested. I check out the trailer(s) and now I’m intrigued. I read a bit of the blog that the author writes and I like her style and sense of humor, so now I think, maybe I should read the book. Jamie has a copy of the book on her Kin­dle, but can’t seem to find her, you know, ink on paper with a glued bind­ing, circa some­time last cen­tury ver­sion, so I will have to see if I can find a copy of a book that was pub­lished in 1991.

Turns out it was pretty easy. My local super­mar­ket has a paper­back copy on their book aisle because book No. 8 of the series s just out in hard­back and the paper­back was re-issued because of the upcom­ing TV series (even has the two main actors, in char­ac­ter, on the cover.

Now my favorite book series will always be Robert B. Parker’s Spenser nov­els, tough guy private-eye with his own moral code that always gets his man, usu­ally in a one on one vio­lent con­fronta­tion. The writ­ing is direct with short sen­tences in short chap­ters, dou­ble spaced on pages with large mar­gins. A cou­ple hun­dred pages of the lit­er­ary equiv­a­lent of a can of sour cream & onion fla­vored Pringles.

Out­lander is the polar oppo­site. There are densely packed pages filled with minute, detailed descrip­tions of the sur­round­ings and stuffed with per­sonal obser­va­tions, sort of the lit­er­ary equiv­a­lent of a Martha Stew­art Poppy Seed Grape­fruit Torte. Think Stephen King length, this baby is 850 pages. I’m not a big fan of period pieces, but I’m still with this one at the 500 page mark. I think I rec­og­nize the seed in all the flow­ery, descrip­tive text as the writ­ing I liked in her blog. Still, I’m not sure I’ll read any more of the books, but if the TV series turns out as good as it looks in the trail­ers, I’ll be watching.

Second Half

The Red Sox fin­ished up he first half* of the sea­son tied for last in their divi­sion 9–1/2 games behind the Bal­ti­more Ori­oles with a record of 43–52. If the Ori­oles, who fin­ished up at the All-Star break at 52–32, play at their cur­rent pace for the rest of the year they will fin­ish at 90–72. So, for the FRS to get 91 wins and over­take the Birds they only have to go 48–19 the rest of the way. That is a .716 pace, sure we can do that.

Well, so far they have won the first two games of the sec­ond half, so only 46 more to go. In today’s game the Red Sox have got John Lester pitch­ing and he has not lost to the Kansas City Roy­als at Fen­way Park, he’s 6–0. That means maybe only 45 more wins to go or more likely, the fact that the announc­ers men­tioned that fact, John will give up about 10 runs and be bounced from the game in a cou­ple innings.

Update: The FRS won the game 6–0. 3 down, 45 to go.

*The base­ball sea­son is 162 games long, so game 81, the real halfway point, was actu­ally a cou­ple of weeks ago.

New Look & On Again, Off Again Rain

With what should be self evi­dent, I am pleased to announce that there is a new look here at It is the same theme, Atahualpa, just with a new shirt. And because of what the top­ics have been dur­ing this past week’s posts you would have thought I would have gone with a Hawai­ian theme, but to tell you the truth, I just thought of that right this minute, or I might have.

Last night I gave the Emperor a sponge bath in the garage and I put the top boot on in prepa­ra­tion for today’s MMC Break­fast run. Got up this morn­ing and it was rain­ing! On Fri­day when I checked the weather they were call­ing for 30% chance of after­noon show­ers. This morn­ing the 30% had changed from after­noon to all day and we were appar­ently in the mid­dle of that per­cent­age. So, off came the boot and the top went up.

By the time we got to the meet­ing place the cloud cover was still there, but the light rain had stopped, so we put the top back down. The rest of the cars either arrived with their tops down or put them down once they arrived. We were at a gas sta­tion off Exit 1 of I-20 and we were going to a small cafe off Exit 22. Most folks would get on the Inter­state, go 21 miles and get off, but we drive Miatas. I mapped out a con­vo­luted 30 mile trip with 12 turns and crossed over or under I-20 five times.

The rain held out for the whole drive and the whole time we were in eat­ing break­fast. It didn’t start rain­ing again here in Aiken again until the late afternoon.

Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Tran­si­tions since 10/24/08: 1396

Today Is The Day

Friday is Hawaiian shirt day!


Last Fri­day when I asked my for­mer boss and now a man­ager for another depart­ment how come he never wore a Hawai­ian shirt on Fri­days. He replied, “I was never invited.”

As the unof­fi­cial Valve Store™ Arts & Crafts Engi­neer I took this as a chal­lenge being issued, so I got busy with some Google-fu, pho­to­shop­ping and Microsoft Word work.

Started up, went down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Tran­si­tions since 10/24/08: 1394

44,000 Teary Eyed Fans

Tonight is the MLB All-Star Game and I con­sid­ered tun­ing in just to see all 44,000 teary eyed fans at Tar­get Field watch­ing Derek Jeter’s final tip of the hat. But then I real­ized that Atlantic Broad­band, in their con­tin­u­ing efforts to force a cable box on me, has removed the HD feed for FOX from my avail­able chan­nels, so I didn’t turn it on.

It wasn’t until the 4th inning that I real­ized I could watch it in HD using my MLB.TV pack­age. This turned out to be a good thing as Jeter was already out of the game so I didn’t have to lis­ten to the FOX announc­ers lav­ish praise on him. That reminds me, I have been lax in keep­ing up with’s fic­tional Derek Jeter Diary, The Captain’s Log.

I was also very lucky and missed the FRS’s “all-star” pitcher John Lester give up a sin­gle and two dou­bles, allow­ing two runs in his 2nd inning appearance.

The Pur­ple Whale swam past the 44,000 mile mark on the way to DD this morning.

Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Tran­si­tions since 10/24/08: 1391