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The Empty City

New this week: Chapter 96, in which Jim teaches Lori to play Icehouse, at the Saturn Cafe


The Arrival of Morning

Sometime between 4 and 4:30, it changes from being very late at night to very early in the morning. I like to go to 7-11 around then. One night, no one was there at all. Not even behind the counter. Just as I began contemplating theft, an employee appeared. "Good morning," she said.


(Imagine this little thinky balloon shape showing up in a flowchart.)

Cool Words

ineffable (in-eff'-a-bul) adj. 1: beyond expression; indescribable or unspeakable 2: not to be uttered, taboo

Haiku Reviews

Wilde :-|

Who is perverted?
the man who loves another,
or those who jail him?
Daddy-O's Reviews

Wild Wild West

Being something of a fan of the vintage series on which this was rather too-loosely based, I was prepared to suspend a lot of disbelief... but I still had trouble getting my brain around a lot of what was depicted in this movie. It's like a live action cartoon, in which the impossible occurs every few minutes. Great special effects, though, and laughs aplenty.

Tirade's Choice
The Earthling's Handbook
Fruits of Chaos
A Word With You
July 15, 1999

New this week:


What's New?Moon Milestones / Birthday Coastering with Proton

A sentence fragment is sticking in my mind as I begin writing this: "the satisfaction, and the sudden emptiness, of an adventure completed."

The quote comes from Tom Hanks' intro to the Apollo 12 episode of "From the Earth to the Moon," which I'm half-watching as I write this, in honor the third man on the moon, Pete Conrad, who completed his mission on earth earlier this week. It's my favorite episode, actually, of a mini-series I highly recommend, particularly for anyone looking forward to Tuesday's 30th moon landing anniversary. (And hey, boxed sets are available now at Price Club, for just $50!) However, the series is like 9 hours long, so if you don't have that much time, I would instead recommend renting For All Mankind.

Anyway, the quote describes rather well how we're feeling this week. We've put all our energies of the past several weeks into Origins, and of the past several months into Contagious Dreams, and now that it's all over and done, we're taking a deep breath, unpacking, trying to get caught up on our e-mail, and starting to think about what to do next.

We've also been riding roller coasters. It being Kristin's Birthday, we went out to Six Flags America to celebrate.

"Six Flags America" is the fourth name I've seen given to a gradually growing amusement venue just outside the Washington Beltway. I first went there in 1980, when it was an abandoned park previously known as the Largo Wildlife Preserve. The Boy Scouts were using it for Order of the Arrow ceremonies, and I performed the role of Meteu, the Medicine Man, on those grounds. A few years later, the failed safari park was reopened as a water park, called Wild World. After they built a couple of roller coasters, they renamed the park Adventure World. And then last year, Six Flags decided the park had evolved to the scale necessary to become an official Six Flags park, and so it was renamed once again. They built 2 more coasters for the grand re-opening, which, in turn, meant that we just had to get over there and ride us some coasters.

The Six Flags improvements are pretty nice overall; however, the new coasters weren't all that amazing. The Joker's Jinx is just like the Outer Limits at King's Dominion, except without the shell; the novel zero-to-sixty launch is cool, but the rest of the ride was rather rough and the restraints far too obtrusive. Much better rides were to be had on the older coasters (the Wild One, the Mind Eraser (which now has comfortable restraints), and Roar). As for the other new coaster, Two-Face, it wasn't operational when we were there.

Since we went on a Saturday, the lines were long, but we made the waiting more fun by playing Proton throughout the day. We've been theorizing that Proton would be the perfect accessory for a day at an amusement park, but this was our first chance to try it out. And indeed, it's great! As Kristin and I played, Alison kept score (and reset the game for us), and by the end of the day, Kristin was ahead, 22-20.


AndyStay cool...

New Iceland cartoonthe story so far

Thought Residue
I'm getting worried about cheese escalation. First, there were 3-cheese sauces, then 4-cheese pizzas... now I'm seeing ads for 5-cheese and 6-cheese products, and I know a place in Baltimore that has a 7-cheese pizza... where will it all end? 20 cheese? 50 cheese? 100 different cheeses?
"Welcome to Loserville... Population: You" -- anti-smoking billboard in downtown Columbus
For years there's been talk of making Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard into a movie or two... now it appears that the first half of the book will be released as a feature film in Y2K, with John Travolta (!) playing the role of the arch-villain Terl. (I wonder if John's being a scientologist had anything to do with his getting the role...)

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