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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Random Thoughts

Farewell to Mad Dog

by Ken Newquist / June 17, 2010

 Madison Up CloseMadison, my Labrador Retriever, died on Monday after 13 years of unrelenting enthusiasm for life, liberty and the pursuit of food. She was the quintessential Lab -- super happy, eager to say hello, an amazing swimmer, an even better retriever, and the kind of dog who knew how to take time to stop and eat the roses. And brownies. And cup cakes. And...

We knew she would be a challenge from the beginning: as we were signing the check to buy her, she tried to pull one of her litter-mates through a fence by his tail. It took us six months to train her to lick instead of bite, and two tours of puppy school to get her to agree to basic obedience commands.

Unless she was on the water ... in which case the only thing she'd pay attention to was her kong-on-a-rope. Or maybe ducks -- Madison once tried to catch a mallard on the Delaware River, not realizing that ducks could, you know, fly. I had to jump in the river and swim after her to get her attention. Fortunately she turned around before we got to New Jersey.

Living in the Datacloud

by Ken Newquist / June 21, 2008

As I write this, I'm in a Holiday Inn in New Hampshire. I don't have a laptop with me, but I've got a stack of Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition books next to me, and a review due Sunday night. A few years ago, I'd have been doomed, but now I've got access to the net via the hotel's lackluster Windows XP machine. The machine itself doesn't have Microsoft Word installed, but again, no problem: the net has what I need, or more specifically, Google does.

Sitting in Google Docs is a copy of my review, and with a few clicks, I've got the document up in front of me, cursor eagerly awaiting my input. I won't finish the review tonight (especially if I keep breaking away to Nuketown to write spontaneous blog posts) but that's ok. One quick save, and my Google Doc's updated, and ready for me to pick it up again once I reach my sister's house.

Laptop? Who needs a freaking laptop?

Bitten by the Head of the Long Tail of Fandom

by Ken Newquist / July 31, 2006

Over at Uncle Bear we've had many a conversation about long-tail fandom, the idea that there's so much good stuff out there -- science fiction novels, games, movies -- that you don't really need be current to satisfy your geeky desires. I tend to stay a little closer to the wave front then Berin -- I've read two or three novels that were written in the last year, and I've got my monthly subscription to Analog -- but at least half of what I read or watch is more than few years old (or, in the case of Conan, the repackaging there of).