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NaNoWriMo is around the corner again and I'm going to attempt it this November.

I have high hopes as I have managed to win it only in even years in the past (06 and 08).

I looked up on the site for local groups and there is a group of New Orleans novelists and the charming title of WriDats so I hope to meet up with them next Monday and see what sort of a loose gang of rabble we have here.

Anyone else gonna try it this year?
(darthmaus and dabrota... I'm lookin at you... I saw yers on mah friends list on the nanowrimo site)

colour/color blind?

Many times in the past few years I have been asked by two people who I know and trust very well: "Are you color blind?"

It was either Dave in reference to my insistence that his love of pants-so-dark-brown-they-might-as-well-be-black were black and not brown, or a shirt that was so navy it was inky was black not dark blue... or Theresa in reference to colors on a web app that I thought were pretty close and she stopped at least once to ask if I was maybe colorblind.

Both were not simply joking, because after two or three instances of arguments about color with Dave I think he sincerely thought I might be colorblind because it became obvious I was not seeing the colors the same way he was.
Yesterday he wore two different colored grey garments, a more bluey grey shirt and to my eyes pretty silver/metally grey pants. And I was wearing grey jeans. And I said oh, we're all in grey today. And he was like, what? I'm not wearing grey. These are blue pants and the shirt is olive!

That kind of freaked me out so today I took a thousand online colorblindness tests.
Dave took them too and pretty much agreed with me on all of them.

So my determination is: I'm not colorblind. There might be the slightest of slight anomolies in my blue cones maybe... this would be tritanomaly, the third type of colorblindness and the only one that is not sex-linked to the Y chromosome (same frequency in men and women) and thus realistically the only kind I was likely to have.

It's called blue-yellow colorblindness but it's a misnomer as I learned, because it doesn't mean you can't tell blue from yellow, it means you have trouble between blue and green, and between yellow and violet.

Well I definitely do not have trouble with yellow and violet. My father's intense 60's love of the purple and yellow color scheme assured me of that, though I wish I had been as a child.
The only tests I was slightly iffy on were the blue/turquoise ones, so there perhaps my blue receptors are a tiny bit off.
But not by much.

So I guess I'm just color-incompetent and I can't blame genetics :)
From: Jessica Douglas <******@mac.com>
Subject: iTunes 10 grey icons are killing me
Date: September 30, 2010 9:47:39 PM CDT
To: sjobs@apple.com

Hi Steve,

Thank you for bringing us iTunes. I have loved and stuck by it for years.

But removing the color from the left panel icons is a disaster, both functionally and aesthetically.

1. I have relied upon the colors to quickly distinguish between content type, smart vs manual playlists at a glance for years and years. To remove that color makes me feel suddenly handicapped.

2. Grey icons = disabled functionality. Every time I look at iTunes 10 I assume that my left panel is disabled. It gives the wrong message.

3. Accessibility. Every time I look at the grey icons they piss me off and I have 20/20 vision! This is an accessibility nightmare.

4. The removal of vertical column divider lines makes it harder to scan the information on the right panel too!

I know there's a lot of uproar out there over the new dock icon for iTunes 10 and the traffic lighting system, but I actually like the new dock icon quite a bit. More to the point, they're not integrally functional to the use of the application so I couldn't really give a damn. Put anything you like in the dock and on the header.

I use iTunes to professionally DJ large (Tango) events which requires quick and accurate navigation between carefully constructed playlists and smart playlists. The new interface makes my job a lot harder.

Thank you for reading :)


This Saturday my gmail account got hacked. They took over my account and sent out a message about me being in Scotland and being mugged asking people to send money.
I finally regained access to my gmail account this afternoon and have been dealing with this disaster my entire weekend.

Since it seems some people might have taken this seriously I am taking this time to say:


I would NEVER ask you for money by email alone. I would CALL you. I know enough people's phone numbers to collect call.

I'm terribly sorry for any worry this has caused and I pray no one actually sent money.

I will post a long and detailed account of what happened, including D's amazing sleuthing to finally get them to give back the account. It turned out it was Nigerians after all.

100 movie icons

Possibly the coolest most pointless cute thing I have seen today:


Aug. 20th, 2010

I thought everyone approached to-do lists this way.

Suddenly my relationship with lists and everyone else's behavior has been made a lot more clear to me.
This app seems a bit too easy a peek into the odd workings of my own brain.
Besides being a clear epic win (that probably no one would every seriously use) but I love the idea:



The genius behind The Oatmeal has done it again. He has encapsulated everything wrong with Twilight and 99% of the other sea of mediocre vampire fiction awash at your local bookstore:



cocktail inspired

After the cocktail extravaganza last week, we finished up by celebrating David's birthday at Sazerac bar and restaurant with a couple of friends. They had sazeracs and I was drinking vodka (hangar one) as usual. It was a good evening, lots of people watching, the bar was packed with part LA ho's, part over-tired bitchy too-drunk shoeless bridesmaids, and a lot of professionals from tales of the cocktail who came in from a "mad men" party so they were dressed to the nines in some very cool retro gear.

I also picked up a magazine that describes the 25 most influential cocktails of the last century, and I'm not sure I agree with all of them, but the one comment from that gin talk really did make me think: I don't know if I was explaining it well enough while trying to liveblog on my ipad keyboard, but he likened the making of cocktails to a metaphor I understand, cooking.

Making the original old standbys or the long forgotten outdated warhorses like the tom collins, old fashioned, gimlet, white lady etc... are like learning to make the mother sauces. You have to master those before you can experiment and extrapolate from them. Then once you are good at those, just as you build on those sauces and modify them to make new dishes, you can now use them as templates of a type of drink and make new, complex or more fashionable creations.

This might have been obvious to others but to me it got me thinking and quite excited. So I was looking through the magazine and decided I would like to master some of those old masters. Especially a few I tried in that lecture and was blown away by how good they were.
I believe I will need help with the tasting part in Vancouver... so to start with, I know I want to figure out how to make an excellent:

Tom Collins
Ramos Gin Fizz

and then maybe work on things like the:
Mai Tai
Brandy or regular Alexander
Pousse Cafe if I really feel like I have too much money and want to give it all to the BC Liquor Board.

Yes, I should also probably learn to make a good martini, something I never have been good at, but excel in the drinking of.

Canadian whiskey

Well here we are coming to the end of the "many faces if canadian whiskey" talk and we are finishing up with a take on the ol rye and ginger. It's royal Canadian whiskey with Ginger beer and Ginger liquor which is quite refreshing and tastes frankly patriotic to my canadian palette.

Unfortunately I didn't have anything to blog about here because to be honest the presenters have been so very dull I've resorted to solitaire on the iPad.

I'm not a whiskey drinker so i brought my own water bottle of vodka and chambord on ice to a whiskey talk.

Most of what i take away from this talk is that Canadian whiskey can be made single barrel or blended (usually blended) and almost exclusively drunk mixed with Ginger or horrific fruit juices of the Canadian 80s. And it's been a bit of a pity party about how poorly marketed Canadian whiskey has been and what a crap reputation it has. No shit Sherlock.

All the while in the next room a man is yelling into a mic to a roomful of screams of laughter and try seemed to have been playing a very violent cartoon earlier to the best of my knowledge. And now the man next door is screaming obscenities into a mic. Really? Wtf is going on next door? Oh good. There's another cocktail coming, and this one sounds like it has bacon.

This talk has just been redeemed. We have bacon cocktails coming and the gentleman from Ontario just said he was given a bacon syrup and bacon salt for rimming. He then explained that he hadn't tried rimming with it yet but he looked forward to rimming with it in the future. I had to put my head down on the desk because i very quickly couldn't breathe from silent laughter.

And here we have his drink, the canadian bacon. Rosemary, bacon syrup and maple syrup in a shaker. Plus aromatic and peychauds bitters. Muddle in a glass with orange peel. Add whiskey to the shaker with ice, shakes and strain over the bitters.
Dear god. It really tastes like bacon and syrup.
Its for digestif or for breakfast.
Mr. Mellis you have a date with this cocktail!!!!!!!!!

We hate vodka drinkers

We seem to have encapsulated the argument of the haters side: they hate vodka drinkers, not the vodka.

In the meantime have i mentioned that I'm blogging this on my iPad? I'm getting used to the keypad and its really not bad. Plus i get to feel all cutting edge geek cool (or tech fashion whore take your pick).

Now were getting into the pink elephant in the room: what do you think about flavored vodkas? The short answer is: it has nothing to do with good vodka and they'd like to kill the purveyors. Could have predicted that one.

And the photographer keeps taking pictures of me (cause i do believe im looking pretty good today) but then glancing down at his camera in confusion as he doesn't seem to understand that i only look good in motion, and am the least photogenic person in the human race. Like a vampire who cannot be caught on film or a mirror, if i realize you are taking a picture of me, i will unexpectedly morph into a strangely uggo beastie in that picture. Its my dubious mutant power.

Now they are trashing Glen's vodka (sp) and everyone is roaring with laughter because this gentleman who owns the premium rum bar in England only stocks this one cheap crap vodka and punishes his customers who ask for vodka with this $7 garbage. Though I am also told that it beat both belvedere and smirnoff in a recent blind tasting. Perhaps I should try this stuff.

Were getting a harvey wallbanger as the love side drink. It's got galliano, orange juice and something distinctly aromatic Iike anise or cucumber. The woman behind me made a quiet gagging noise saying "it's gross". I have to agree, a major disappointment.
The head marketer from hangar one vodka is here asking what they should do as a small producer of quality vodka to go to the next step.

As an aside, i should check into my personal favorite or at least my unexamined brand loyalty to ketel one. Are they one if the bad mass marketers who apparently add glycerin to sweeten it. WTF? Corn syrup? Seriously? I hope not.

Ah, someone just mentioned ketel as an example of a vodka where if you make a very good quality product and you personally go on the road to promote it you can with relatively low ad money turn an unknown brand into a 1.5 billion dollar brand in 15 years. So there is my answer. It is considered a high quality product by these particular elite panelists. Hooray! My brand loyalty is confirmed! Plus i do honestly enjoy the taste more than goddamn syrupy grey goose.