Random Thursday: Rants, Tagging, and Someone Else’s Writing Process

It’s Random Thursday and that’s exactly what you’re getting.


Ever Want to Pop Winter in the Mouth?

Pow! MittensYeah, me too . . .

I probably shouldn’t complain too much about snow—we really don’t get a lot of it.  In fact, most of the major storms tend to part around our river valley on their way to molest Michigan or irritate Indiana.  The wind thinks we’re a convenient shortcut to Chicago, but the precipitation tends to obey the rules.

Most of this is because of the river, but there are some local legends about it, too.  One of these is about a blessing that some flavor of holy man supposedly gave while standing on ground sacred to the local Native American tribes, guaranteeing non-lethal weather for the area.

I mentioned this to Jane, who was seriously bummed about having to go to school yesterday.

“Right,” she said.  “Is there one about a curse, guaranteeing that kids wouldn’t have any fun in the winter?”

Maybe so kid.

Of course, she and Sunny were happy enough with the unseasonably warm weather Tuesday, which made our morning commute look—and sound—a lot like this:



Tag!  You’re it!

A group of high school buddies have been playing a game of tag for 23 years.

It’s true–-it’s in the Wall Street Journal and it sounds like a blast.

For the whole month of February, these gentlemen, who live all over the country,  use guerilla and espionage tactics and plain ol’ fashioned trickery to avoid being the last one tagged IT at the end of the month.

They have a Tag Participation Agreement that prevents the kind of tag-backing stuff that might devolve into a slap-fighting disturbance of the peace.

Some might say this sort of thing is disturbed enough—these guys enlist their friends,  family, and co-workers for offense and defense, form alliances, and develop extreme measures to tag or avoid being tagged.

But it sounds like a unique and fun way for friends to keep in touch.

The next round starts tomorrow—let the games begin!


Gremlin Gargoyles!

The recently renovated Chapelle de Bethléem in France has some familiar-looking gargoyles:

Gremlin Gargoyle

If you doubt Stripe’s willingness to protect anything, never fear—Gizmo is on the job:

Gizmo Gargoyle

If you don’t know these two odd characters because you were under a rock in 1984, go rent the movie.

If you don’t know them because you weren’t alive in 1984, I don’t need to hear it, thanks.


Stormlight Book 2:  The Pre-Writing

A while back, Brandon Sanderson wrote The Way of Kings, the first book in the epic fantasy Stormlight saga. It was pretty good.

In fact, several of us have been waiting impatiently for the second one—even those of us who have been known to take even longer to write a far less complex story (cough).

But to his credit, Mr Sanderson seems to be aware of this, and is making a series of videos to reassure us that he  is writing that second book and to explain how he’s going about it.

I’ll mention here that I watched it the first time with a set of broken headphones, so it tickled the hell out of me that, as far as I could tell, Mr. Sanderson started writing this book by staring at a blank screen for several minutes.

Because, dude.  I can so relate.