The Power of Blankets

Blankets are great.

I don't know about you, but whenever I'm alone at night in a big house with too many windows without blinds or curtains, and I get spooked, I turn to my friend, the blanket.

My blanket is impervious to all demons, serial killers, vampires and deformed mutant zombies. It must be made of titanium, or maybe woven carbon fiber. Certainly at the very least somewhere on a molecular level it's inscribed with all kinds of protective sigils, and the fabric itself was washed in the most holiest of holy water.

Its powers disappear when the sun rises. Until then, however, I'll be stuck underneath it, waiting for the bad things to go away.


Help Me Finish Little Miss Litty

Help I'm stuck!

Throughout the story, I have a demon insisting that people play the game with him.

The little girl (Anna) plays the game, but doesn't play fair. And she won't reveal the rules to Sarah Littern.

The demon so far has not revealed what the rules of the game are, or what the game is?

So what can it be?

I'm stumped. I think I have a vague idea of a direction to go in... but to be honest all I really know for sure is that it's not a "Rumplestiltskin" game.

Anyone got any suggestions?

#script writing, #writing
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A Little Family History

So I'm sitting here on the couch watching Sicko (Michael Moore's investigation into America's healthcare system vs. socialized medicine in the UK & Canada), and at one point he's interviewing the Rt. Hon. Tony Benn (Labour MP).

And what did I spy in one shot?

A SOGAT mug from 1982.

Most people won't know what SOGAT is... in fact, for the longest time I didn't. It's a print-workers trade union in the UK (specifically, the "Society of Graphic and Allied Trades").

Why do I know this?

Strangely, because my grandfather (on my mom's side) was the secretary of Sogat for a while. I don't know any more details. I'm hoping that someone will eventually read this and fill in the blanks for me.

I remember being 7 or so, and visiting him in an office building somewhere near Manchester. What do I remember from the visit?

A big wooden desk. A pen holder. Some kind of phone. And the coolest thing of all, a pen holder that looked like a little animal, with a spring like a slinky in the middle.

We got to the office via an elevator. But that's all I remember.

At one point, I visited a newspaper printers in what's now called the "PrintWorks" in Manchester - refurbished now as a cool nightlife/entertainment zone near the Manchester Arndale center. (The IRA bombing in 1996 brought about a number of changes... this was one of the cooler ones). All I remember? A big green door, and a huuuuuuuge roll of paper near the entrance in some kind of machine.

The other memory of my Granddad's work was seeing him on the news, walking and talking with Margaret Thatcher during some kind of trade dispute. They talked over everything he said, cutting to her for the soundbite.

Oh, he also had the occasional trip to Hawaii (I think he stayed at the same hotel I've been to), and had at least one meeting on Robert Maxwell's (head of the Mirror Group of newspaper publishers) yacht the Lady Gislaine - about a year before Maxwell was found dead floating overboard.

My granddad - Gerard Foley - died in 1986 of a double heart-attack. And he has this life that I know very little about.

My grandmother - Kathleen Foley - was a nurse. That much I know. She died less than a year after my grandfather of cancer.

They both grew up during World War II; my gran was evacuated to Wales if I recall correctly. She had photos, and at she still had the gas mask.

More than that? I don't remember. I was 12 or so when they died.

Some of these facts may be wrong - they're all from memory. Either way, if anyone has any more info, please let me know :)

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Windows Desktop Search - Half Baked, Half Assed

I love the ability to search fast through OneNote and Outlook that Windows Desktop Search gives me... but...

And here's the problem. But. It's a huge but. It's an enormous but. If it had an extra t, it'd need to buy an extra seat whenever it flew.

It makes my machine run like porridge.

I don't know what it is. I disabled it scanning XML files because the XML parser runs like molasses on a cold day in January. But It Still Regularly Slows My Machine To A Crawl.

Here's a clue, Windows Desktop Search team:

I don't know what kind of uber monster machines you're running, but most people's systems these days slow down considerably whenever they hit the disk. I don't know if it's the chipsets being used, or the drivers, but nearly every machine I've seen slows to a crawl when it hits high disk utilization these days - including Quad Core, 4Gb monster machines like my system at work.

Laptops are worse. Most laptops I've seen can't handle sustained high throughput on any IO channel - USB or hard drive. It just kills them. They slow to a crawl and become unresponsive.

LIMIT YOUR DISK ACCESS. I don't care if you're in an idle thread, you can't hammer the disk the way you do.

Fix it, or bye-bye WDS. I have no idea if Google Search is any better; I uninstalled that puppy when it was still buggy enough to cause problems and crash on a regular basis. Either way, it won't provide the search functions I need in Outlook and OneNote.


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