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Topics - Renoard

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Movies and TV / What was that Anime!!!?
« on: August 07, 2011, 02:11:47 PM »
I saw a series some time ago about artificial humanoids who "blossom" when they fall in love. They then become weapons similar to Pokemon except that they are perfectly capable of killing humans. A young man is refused admittance to Uni in Tokyo and begins collecting females who all wish to be his wife. In the end, he uses his growing army to destroy the company that created the humanoids.

Can anyone help me with the name of the series?

Reading Excuses / A note on critiquing.
« on: February 02, 2011, 12:39:17 PM »
Most of us have some background in writing or literature, while others have picked up the basics through hard work and observation. And while I don't remember anyone having too much trouble with critiquing, I thought a quick and dirty primer on the subject might be helpful. You can find a good run down of the major don'ts (not donuts) at: Critical Reason

Movies and TV / The Hobbit Movie
« on: February 02, 2011, 05:12:31 AM »
They keep announcing or rumoring a realease of Hobbit. But to date all we've ever gotten is the crappy cartoon that never finished.

Now it's slated for release in 2012. But wait! It's in two parts and we only get the FIRST half in 2012. Dejavu all over again.

Reading Excuses / Jan 17, 2011 - Renoard - The Bullfinch and the General
« on: January 17, 2011, 09:31:58 PM »
Just to prove that I am flexible enough to write without a VLDS tag. :P

This is a little fairy tale, or a long one perhaps, that I wrote as background material for my current novel. These are the sort of Faerie Tales that a character in the world of Redmantle might have grown up with. I've posted it to my blog previously, but since I have so little readership it's very similar to unpublished. :P Just remember this is a Faerie Tale, not a formal shortstory.

For newbies feel free to be honest, I may ask you to clarify where you think your cirtique is plain, but I look forward to seeing the real opinion. Think of it this way, if you had really bad BO and and didn't notice and your sister let you leave the house that way, I think you'd be rather upset by that. Tough critique is being honest enough to help. ;)

Rants and Stuff / Magic-Hi-Jack
« on: July 24, 2010, 08:14:30 PM »
Magic jack could not be more aptly named. It is a scam, but like so many in recent years it has a veneer of genuine service and even reliability that could well have been used to position it as a revolutionary and legitimate household name.  I purchased MagicJack, just to check it out a little over two-years ago.  I had the same little voice that so many do saying, "It's sounds too good to be true." And phone service for slightly more than the federal tax did sound very suspicious, even without the free calling to Canada, free caller ID, free call waiting, and free conference calling, with a number in nearly any local area across the US.  But I thought that the introductory price for 1 year with a 30 money back guarantee gave me the chance to try it without too much risk.

I tried it and I was amazed.  The Dongle required a high speed usb-2 port, something that wasn't made clear up front, but some of my computers works with it so I hooked up and in minutes made my first call.  Call quality was good and using a cordless handset, I could use it from any room.  I had a phone I could take to wifi spots and on road trips without the hassle or cost of a cell phone. I was happy.

Over the following year the quality varied drastically. Occasionally the dongle would crash for no apparent reason and logging it back into magic Jack could be a problem. But on the whole, it was not worse than the local wired carrier, so I kept it. I even found real uses for it. I gave the number to prospective publisher, old friends I'd lost touch with and even current friends and colleagues.  The just before my first year was up, Magic jack began to disconnect calls while I was talking.  Admittedly some of my calls are long. I have a friend who helps me with edits over the phone. I collaborate on graphics and computer science projects. And while people have been understanding, it affects work-flow and my reputation.

But, I said to myself, the prepaid year is nearly up, maybe they just let older client drop to a lower priority or bandwidth quota t remind them to renew. I've seen worse. So like a trooper went to the website to renew and found that I would not be getting the month to month agreement a technician had promised, I would not be getting the opportunity for a new year of service. If I wanted to renew I was required to pay for five years in advance.

That bothered me. It felt like bait and switch but I had given the number to people who I might not be able to contact in order to change it (don't call us, we'll call you in 9 months or so, maybe). I needed to keep the number and I needed to keep the magic Jack. I didn't have a choice, so I signed up. Almost immediately call interruption became regular.  At a specific number of minute the Magic Jack service would disconnect one side of the call and leave the other connected. The party still connected would be talking into nothing and the other party would be force to wait a period of time before redialing. This caused no small amount of difficulty, but we worked around it. In addition the consumer espionage that magic jack engages in (they trace each call in order, so they say, to focused target advertising on the magic jack user), there as a definite lag of up to 5 seconds and sound quality issues grew increasingly bad.

Finally the interruptions began occurring at 60 second intervals and the sound quality became so bad you literally had to shout into the phone. Then just last week they began sending a busy signal to incoming callers when the magic jack was not in use, rather than sending them to voice mail. In addition they selectively blocked my access to a single number. However they have not had the decency of  using an intelligible prompt to notify me of this blockage, instead I receive three long beeps and a connection to dead air. When contacted they wanted to go through a script about rebooting the dangle and a number of other useless delays then disconnect my live chat mid sentence. The last tech I talked to said they have no idea what causes the service problems but they are aware of them and engineers are hard at work on them.

I've worked in call centers I know a "we aren't allowed to help fix the problem" lie when I hear one. But more to the point, when I use star codes to check the line the computer assures me the line is clear and that MagicJack is making successful connection. My friend whose number is blacked contacted her phone company who assured her the problem was on magic jacks side and that she should contact Magic Jack about the issue.

I researched complaints against Magic Jack and found that they have a history of blocking calls and their CEO is on record as saying, "we are not a common carrier [therefore] we can do what we want." That is an egregious attitude. And it is that sort of attitude that fuels the corporate culture at Ymax Communications, the operator of Magic Jack. I would say Caveat Utilitor, but better yet, don't buy or use it at all.

These are my own opinions which are shared by far too many magic Jack victims, and not those of any forum or website that happens to convey them.

Site News / Famous contributing editor rounded up in FBI sting!
« on: July 15, 2010, 01:34:59 AM »
Okay the Infamous and Illustrious Moshe Feder (former census taker Extraordinaire) posts a link about a high-lying SST then the next day Russian spies are rushed to Moscov for a prisoner exchange.  In the mean time Moshe is missing. . . .

Coincidence?  You be the judge, tonight on Right-wing Conspiracy Theater.

Reading Excuses / Thought this might help with writer's block.
« on: July 02, 2010, 07:40:39 AM »
Okay the plan is for visual artists, but I thought to myself, hmmm.  Self I said, You know drawing could get the creative juice flowing at those times, because it's off topic and takes the pressure off. Self answered, And you could simply extend it to trying the same thing writing badly on purpose etc.!/photo.php?pid=1485919&id=1217147568

Reading Excuses / June 28 - Renoard - Redmantle Chapter 1b
« on: June 28, 2010, 11:31:25 AM »
This is the second half of the chapter and deals with events across the Straits of Kumberland.

A Duke dies and his family try to cope.

If you didn't get it and need to, send me an email. (RE members only of course)

Reading Excuses / June 21 - Renoard - Redmantle Chapter 1
« on: June 21, 2010, 10:15:40 AM »
It was a tough decision but I settled on the first chapter of this novel.  I had another in mind but just couldn't get any momentum in time to submit.
This is chapter one of a Renaisance Fantasy.  It takes place on an alternate earth, where some of the borders are drawn differently in Europe.  It involves political intrigue, cavalry war, Grand Wizards and diabolical sorcerers.  Against this background we look at the tangled lives of three families of nobel station and the struggle to build and maintain relationships in a world on the brink of war ruled by men on the brink of madness.
Sorry if this is florid but I wrote it off the top of my head.

Now taking nominations.  I of course nominate my self.  My qualifications include the fact I am wiling to take no responsibility whatever or make any statements, regarding dessert, which are not equivocal and easily misinterpreted.

The Senate of Dessert Appreciation (SoDA)  will be a body of five legislators and coequal executives who will thwart the agenda of any group attempting to establish real change or give ascendancy to Either Pie or Cake.  They will however be open to bribery and scandal with regard to any sufficiently rich desert, without bias, malice or forethought.  Having taken dessert from special interests, the Senators will be honor bound to obfuscate the issues, provide no guidance and while speaking publicly in favor of their own special interest contributors, abstain from decisions, deal equally with the competing interests and hamper progress toward real ascendancy of either Pie or Cake.

When sufficient nominations have been received and the purpose of this convention has been lost in the general sussurus and debate that is enviable in any such proceeding, a new thread will be announced containing a poll where you can exercise your God given right to exercise futility.

Thank you for your support, I want to be your fake senator.  My name is Renoard and I approve of this message.

Reading Excuses / 1 June 2009 - Renoard - EL SHADDU- ch 5-7 VL
« on: June 02, 2009, 09:04:55 PM »
Sorry this post was late.  I think I took care of the typos and dropped punctuation but let me know.  Thanks for your help.

Reading Excuses / 25 May 2009 - Renoard - EL SHADDU- ch 4 part 2
« on: May 26, 2009, 10:09:12 AM »
Rated V for humiliation and death.

some vengeance. And explanation of sorts and and escape?

Reading Excuses / 18 May 2009 - Renoard - EL SHADDU- ch 4 part 1
« on: May 18, 2009, 12:43:09 PM »
Rated VS for violence, humiliation and some nudity.

Be kind.  I cracked a molar in half.

No I don't really mean that.  I'm looking for honest coherent critique.  But I did crack the tooth. :)

In this submission, Our Hero get some fresh insight into his captivity.  He also gets some rude surprises.

Reading Excuses / 11 May 2009 - Renoard - EL SHADDU- ch 3
« on: May 12, 2009, 04:12:53 AM »
This chapter is rated V for ahem enhanced interrogation techniques

Our hero finds himself imprisoned and unable to faced his accusers or know the charge against him.

Most of the problems with templates should be fixed.  If you find bad punctuation it's probably got there honestly.

Did you ever have one of those days?

I apologize for sending the document labeled Chapter X.  It was a throwaway and certainly was not intended as a submission.  Feel free to delete it.

Reading Excuses / Actual Reading Excuses
« on: May 08, 2009, 12:34:15 PM »
Thought this might tickle.  I know the general excuse for me is that I'm too busy.  But that's sometimes an matter of interpretation. :P

Excuses for not reading an authors book

Kingsley Amis says there is only one acceptable excuse for not having read an author's latest book when the author comes to dinner, and it goes like this:

' Your new novel must be absolutely marvellous because I have now bought it three times, and on every occasion someone has stolen it or borrowed it before I have had a chance to read it.

Tomorrow I am going out to buy a fourth copy, and that's going to be MINE.'

Quoted from:

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