Friday, December 14, 2007

The Friday Challenge

...and here it is, Friday already. Long week. Who knew that doing nothing but meeting and conferencing for hours on end could be so exhausting? (Well, my new Dell Lassitude laptop apparently knew, as it turns out the batteries can only go for a little over two hours before needing to stop and take a long drink from the mains.) It wasn't the talking that was tiring, though; it's was all the listening, processing, and developing structures, strategies, and plans in response to what I was hearing that wore me out. I suppose it also didn't help that there was no discernable downtime. I couldn't even go to a restaurant afterwards, alone, without overhearing the conversation of the people at the next table and realizing they were tangentially part of the same process (and were in fact blabbing about confidential and sometimes even classified information with no apparent cognizance of how their voices carried).

Well, at least I got through an entire week without having to endure a single PowerPoint presentation. That's a plus.

And now here we are, at 0-dark-30 on Friday morning, frittering away the hours until it's time to catch the shuttle to the airport and get out of here, and I never did get around to the blogbits I planned to write this week about the two books I read on the plane ride out here, or my trenchant observations about the local newspaper, or the books I wanted to add to the Recommended Giving list, or the movie I meant to plug. All fodder for next week's bloggerel, I suppose.

Instead, as I've now observed three times, it's Friday, and this means it's time for The Friday Challenge. First, though, I've been remiss, and have some catching-up to do. The winners of the last three Friday Challenges are (drum roll, please):

Rigel Kent, for "Die Hard: The NeXT Generation"

Passin Through, for "A Visit from Aunt Martha"

and Henry Vogel, for "The Final Solution to the TV Writer's Strike", with Honorable Mention to Claymore, who came up with an idea for a story that would probably be marketable if written, but wasn't an answer to the challenge. Winners, email me to claim your prizes.

Now, for this week's challenge. I want to begin by directing your attention to rycamor's comment on my Tuesday post; indeed, a fine, apolitical, curmudgeonly rant.

And that's this week's challenge: I'm looking for your best rant about modern life here in the early 21st century that does not involve presidential politics, illegal aliens (pro or con), homosexuality (pro or con), or "kids these days." What is the one thing you really miss about The Way Things Used To Be, or the one thing that you know is a really a relic of the last century but still hope never goes away entirely?

As always, we're playing for your choice of either a signed copy of Rebel Moon or what's behind Door #2, with the winner to be announced next Friday. Ready? Go!