Nothing new to report. I've been working on getting the necessary permissions to write an article on colored pencil artists, but after several weeks I only have one response. I'm not sure how much of that I can chalk up to the holidays, and how much is due to other artists giving up on their websites and the emails created for them.
On the plus side, Mark Ferrari is the one who replied. Which is cool because his art is what gave me the idea to put this thing together. And he has a new website launching in a couple weeks as it turns out, so that's awesome.
Also working on some writings about invasive species, but I'm torn how to go about it. I had written an article on invasive plant species that I thought was pretty fascinating, but the site moderators disagreed. But there are just too many things to choose from to make one list that includes animals and plants together, so I was hoping to break it up to three: vertebrates, invertebrates and then of course the plants. The first rejection has me a little uncertain about how to proceed, while still producing something I'm proud to stand behind.
It's been a couple years since my last post, but there might still be some people out there who will see this.
I mistake of reading through this entire thing in reverse a couple years ago, and it really put into perspective how angry and hypocritical I was. I've since done a purge of old posts. Most all of the political stuff is gone, and a few of the cries for attention as well. I was a real asshole in a few of them, and that ain't right. Pretty much anything that was pointless from my blue period, otherwise known as half a decade I spent drunk, is gone now.
I'm fairly happy these days. I still write quite a bit, but I've been trying to focus my efforts on more productive projects. I've gotten paid for a few short articles over on Listverse. Nothing major, just a couple hundred bucks here and there, but now I can put 'Professional Author' on my resume and hope no one asks for details.
Anyway, I miss you all. I tend to drift away from people that I really don't want to drift away from, but maybe it's not too late to correct that.
Happy holidays, everyone!
Catching up on some news passed to me, since it happens to be relevant to some of my writing. Writing which has been slow and painful, but I'm trying.
"Wolves kill teacher in Alaska"
Wow. That Alaska sure is a harsh place. What with the cold, and wolves trying to eat you and all. I mean, how many people must wolves kill every year? I bet it's dozens.
Ah, well no. After a little research it turns out this is the first reported killing of a human by a wolf in Alaska. Like... Ever.
But, I mean, that's just in one state. Canada has wolves. Most of the rest of the northern United States have wolves. Surely they must gnaw on us people once in a while just to remind us at how much we suck at not being food.
Ah, no again. Turns out it's 2. That's counting this one.
Though when you think about it, that is kind of scary. The number of human deaths and the hands, er, paws of wolves this year alone is literally double that of all similar reported deaths since 1950. My god, they might be rising up against us!
Now, this all happened on the 13th. So then 5 days later on the 18th, in a completely different portion of Alaska, this news pops up.
"Collared wolves killed during aerial predator control"
Now, the claims are that Fish and Game want to bolster the population of the fortymile herd; A mass of Caribou ranging anywhere from 40-50k animals at this time. This is nowhere near the size it used to be, but still steadily on the rise over the last couple decades by at least 10% per year. The wolves were from Yukon Charly Reserve, which was able to boast a population of 42 wolves last fall, and only 26 wolves in February. The biggest reduction since they started monitoring population in 1993, though this is attributed to normal winter attrition. The collared wolves were part of a 16 year study.
26 wolves. Fish and Game culled 9. They called it "a success."
On top of this, they had an agreement with Park Service not to take more than 6 wolves per year from the packs that move in and out of the reserve, and that they would NOT take the collared wolves at all. According to the head of park management, the shooter saw the collars and decided to shoot anyway. I'm not sure how reliable he is as a source, since he does have a vested interest in the studies, but that's what's being reported.
I know wolves aren't really endangered in Alaska, but I wouldn't exactly call their story much of a triumph, either. They're viewed as a threat. Not to us, but to the things we want to kill and eat for ourselves.
So the end result is that we now have 15 or so wolves left in the reserve, because they were worried they might hurt the population growth of a herd of tens of thousands. A herd which, according to some fish and game PDFs I downloaded from their site, they want to be able to harvest around 1-2k caribou from this year alone via hunting.
These numbers... they just don't make sense to me. I mean, I found plenty of insane fuckers with websites on both sides of the issue that want to tell me what to think of it all, but they hardly sound like rational folk.
And what's more... Are the two events related? Did the killing of a teacher somehow make them think they'd be able to sell this kind of more overtly aggressive culling more easily? Is it just that vacation hunting from other states and countries is such a huge source of income that, well, fuck the wolves I've got money to make? Or is that just my human mind trying to find motivation for something that, on the surface, seems to make no sense?
Some things are just beyond my grasp.
It bothers me. We want to save the Caribou because we can eat them. We want to save the wolves because they're cute. It's all how we 'feel' about them, or anything else, that makes us want to do something about it. What if I think this is wrong, just because it is wrong? The numbers, the methods, all of it. Seems like it needs to be re-thinked with everyone involved in the same room for once.
But I guess asking for rationality from Alaskan politics is a bit too much to ask.
Man will probably never walk on the moon in my lifetime.
But some yahoo wants to make robots to carve adverts in the dust that can be seen from earth. He says it's the road to the future, paving the way for colonization. Which is total bull. He just wants to sell the moon.
I wouldn't mind looking up at moon, picking out the blurry blot that is our human city and wondering if anyone there is looking back towards me. That would make me happy.
Looking up at the Nike swoosh? I'd probably cry.
And they wonder my my generation is so nihilistic.
I didn't see you guys reply to my last post, sorry about that. It's been kind of messed up over here.
Dad passed away yesterday. He was riddled with cancer, and after the collapse a while back they gave him anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months. He opted for the 6 months.
I think this is the part where, if I were on a TV drama, I would either lose it because he's gone and I finally realize how much I miss him, or blame him for everything I am today and just get mad. But, really... I'm having a hard time feeling much of anything about it. All I feel is guilty that I don't care more than I do. People are supposed to feel something when their parents die. Even if it isn't something right.
I guess things between us were just too far gone.
I got a call a few days ago from my brother to tell me that my dad had collapsed. He has a tumor in his brain, along with a lot of bleeding and clotting and all other manner of fucked up. There's not much anyone can do. We've gone down to the hospital to visit a few times, but he can't really remember much, and his mind can't do much other than focus on how he's going to pay his rent. The steroids are helping him be a little more clear than he was, but apparently after a while they stop working and he's going to go back to how he was at first. Barely able to recognize us.
I guess I always knew this was coming, although to be honest I always thought he'd go much more suddenly. I had heard that he had a heart attack about a year ago, but what I hadn't heard what that he was pretty heavy into crack at the time.
Not that that's a surprise. I have my first memory of him as a child narrowed down to one of two things. One is of my mom coming into the room and freaking out (rightfully so) because he was having me pass the pot pipe between him and his wasted friends. The other is of standing next to him at coffee-table, watching him cut out white lines on a mirror and suck them up his nose through a rolled up bill.
I guess what really surprises me is that I don't really seem to care much. I should probably be sad or angry or something.
I probably will be later.
This just sucks.
Warhammer Online... Oh my goodness.
At first it seemed a lot like Warcraft. Some of the conventions are the same, which makes the transition pretty easy. But once you get past the obvious similarities, things start to get really interesting.
I've been playing a Disciple of Kain, which is a melee-based healer class. I wasn't too certain about it at first, but once I got used to the idea of healing allies by stabbing enemies I started to really like it.
So we found ourselves at the base of a hill, and at its top was a keep defended by dwarves and a handful of Order players. Order are the good guys. We are the bad guys. We wanted their keep.
You don't stop for mana in War. It was a half hour of non-stop castle siege, complete with player-operated balistas, catapults and boiling oil.
When it was over, the keep was ours.
That was the most fun I've had doing anything in a long time.