And we’re back…for now.

So, as most folks know, LiveJournal has been getting ass-hammered by yet another in a series of Distributed Denial of Service (or “DDoS,” as the kids say) attacks these past few days. The result has been spotty access for users, readers, and even the poor, unloved spammers.

I know of at least one person on my LJ F-list who’s already formally announced that they’re relocating their primary blog presence to another platform. Other folks are considering the switch, or at least mirroring their blog efforts at another venue. Given some of the (admittedly unsubstantiated) rumors, gossip and other fear-mongering I’ve read regarding LJ’s continuing status and future, and in a bid to make sure I don’t lose everything I’ve got over there, I’m in the process of porting stufff from my LJ blog to here.

Hey, go easy on me. I’m just getting started trying to figure out everything over here. One thing that disappointed me about importing LJ entries to this platform was that it didn’t bring along the comments. That kinda sucks.

It’s very likely that this will become my “new blog home” some time in the near future, with cross-posting back to LJ. If the DDoS nonsense keeps up there, that will probably motivate me to accelerate the transition.

Sorry, LJ, but this was ridiculous after the fourth or fifth time it happened.

And so it goes.

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Dear LiveJournal: Grr. Also? Argh.

LiveJournal users need the option of banning IP addresses from posting comments to their journal. I consider this to be a more important and perhaps even more useful feature than…say…being able to send someone a virtual ice cream cone.

Who’s with me?

Pass it on.

Grr. Argh.

The (cr)app on my phone.

So, I’ve had an iPhone since last summer. My wife and I were needing to change up phones and rework our plan, and they were having sweet deals on the 3GS just prior to the iPhone 4 hitting the market. I was a tough sell, but Michi really dug them when we were playing with them in the store. I would’ve been happy with any phone that featured a QWERTY keyboard for texting and accessing the internet, but the sales rep at the store was good at what she did, so in short order the missus and I had shiny new iPhones.

I, of course, being cynical and resistant to change…wasted no time loading up my new toy with crap.

Oddly, I actually didn’t copy over a lot of music or video. I already had an mp3/video player with something like 10 times the storage capacity, and I wasn’t really the biggest fan of iTunes. Still, I’ve come around to it, slowly, and now my phone has some video and music content on it. But what else is on it? Apps, of course. In addition to the usual apps that are already pre-loaded (Weather, Maps/GPS, etc.), I started some of the more fun stuff: Games, a few tools for accessing certain sites, news feeds, and so on. For instance:

A list of portable time sinks…behind the cut!

Enter gryphonrose’s contest, and win stuff!

My friend and fellow word slinger Aaron Rosenberg (gryphonrose) is holding a contest over on his own LJ!

gryphonrose: Second Annual “Guess Aaron’s Writing Output” Contest

What’s it all about? He’s asking folks to guess how many books he wrote (not necessarily published, as some of them could still be in the pipeline awaiting publication during 2011), as well as how many words were written for those books. From his entry, winners will receive the following:

  • The first person to get either of the two questions right wins an autographed copy of one of his books.
  • The first person to get BOTH questions right wins autographed copies of 2 (or is it 3?) of his books. Ask Aaron for clarification.

So, what are you waiting for? Go forth, answer questions, and maybe win stuff.

Gone Fishin.’

The dog is living the high life at the Pet Hotel (I swear to God I’m not kidding), the mail’s on hold, and friends will be housesitting, raiding my fridge and my DVD collection in beween watering plants and searching for my porn stash. Clan Ward is officially east bound and down.

Though there will be sporadic updates (perhaps a travelogue of sorts), along with reminders to the truly important stuff (like new episodes of Star Trek Re-Watch, and ruminations on the Bucs after their next two games), I can’t predict when I’ll be able to get back here. So, between now and sometime late on December 31st, just consider us to have gone fishin’….

But in case your own plans don’t bring you back here between now and then: Happy Holidays, Peace Out, and all that good stuff. See you on the other side, if not at a few rest stops along the way.

Caption contest: We have a winnah!

Well, thank God that’s over, right?

After all that teeth-gnashing (okay, not really), we have a clear winner for the best caption to go with this photo:


“Dayton’s remote-controlled Glenn Beckbot is quite a hit at parties.” – liquidcross

As a result, liquidcross gets to add to his library (or his cat’s litter box, or whatever) this little gem:

We also have a couple of runner’s up:

“Interrupt me with those damn beeps one more time and next convention you’ll need Pike’s wheelchair to do your schtick.” – romulantbonz

and

“If I stand here long enough looking casual, that chick in the front row with the Spock ears will stop staring at me and going into Pon Farr.” – Sue Rosenthal via Facebook

For them? A signed cover flat for my forthcoming Star Trek: Typhon Pact novel, Paths of Disharmony.

As for the “fun” pic, well, it was a landslide victory:


“No wonder Rand doesn’t have time for me anymore.” – @Gettysburg7 on Twitter

The second pic wasn’t part of the contest, but I’m still looking around for something to send the winner.

Thanks for playing along, everyone! For the winners, please contact me offlist with your mailing info so I can get stuff on its way to you.

Caption Contest! Pick da Winnahs!

Okay, the time for joking around has past; it’s time to get serious with this contest thing.

What’s at stake? Well, this puppy:

What is it? Well, like I’ve been saying, it’s an advance uncorrected proof, or advance reading copy, the sort of thing sent out to reviewers, magazines, etc. as part of the pre-publishing push for a book.

Votes will be accepted until Midnight Central Time Wednesday, December 15th.

So, without further ado, let’s get votin’!

Caption Contest: Last Chance!

Last weekend, I launched a silly little caption contest. The deadline for supplying captions is midnight (Central Time), so if you’re feeling froggy, slide over to that entry and pin a caption on the pic.

What’s up for grabs? My only copy of an advance, uncorrected proof of The Last World War.

Why? Well…I really don’t have a good reason for that.

All the details are over there. Hit me!

Troll Alert.

I first read about this oddity on tiggerallyn‘s LJ, and then this morning saw an alert message put out by lonemagpie, so I’m going to go ahead and boost the signal a bit on a weird bit of trolling that’s being encountered by people on LJ and Dreamwidth:

http://thedivinegoat.livejournal.com/196738.html

(NOTE: thedivinegoat isn’t the troll. She’s just passing on the info and what to watch for.)

I have no idea what would possess people to go to such lengths to bug other people. At first, I thought that even if it was odd behavior, it could just be someone feeling down on themselves and needing some attention. But if it *is* just some dickbag screwing with folks? After reading this, I kinda hope he contacts me so I can have a bit of my own fun.

“Where’s My Book?” – the results are in!

Okay, okay, okay. I’ve dragged this on long enough.

A while back, I finally got off my ass and created my first-evah poll, based on a request I made of my blog readers last year: “Where’s My Book?” Your mission, had you chosen to accept it, was to snap a picture of my book in some interesting locale as you went about your summer travels. Folks sent me some really nifty pics, my favorites of which ended up in the poll, which you can find by clicking here. The faithful readers of this blog have spoken, and we’ve ended up with a tie for the “most popular” pic:


(Submitted by “Archer’s Angel.”)

and


(Submitted by Christine Rideout, aka “@StarfleetMom” on Twitter.)

So, the contributors of these fine photos are hereby entitled to a book from my backlist, signed by me (and Kevin, if appropriate). Contact me directly via e-Mail so that we can work out the details.

Many thanks to all who participated, both in the poll as well as sending in photos. For that latter group, I appreciate your indulgence and patience. Maybe we’ll do something like it in the future, now that I actually can create polls and whatnot.