The 43-year-old actor’s manager had no immediate comment. Brendon was in town for an appearance at Tree City Comic Con.
Boise police said they received a call around 9:30 p.m. on Friday about a disturbance in a hotel lobby involving Brendon and staff members. When officers arrived, they found the actor showing “signs of intoxication” and said he “repeatedly refused officers’ commands to stay seated while officers tried to speak with witnesses.”
I find it amazing that he was 25 years old when he started playing Xander Harris on Buffy. But then, I’m still impressed by gravitational slingshots.
Did you know we have a spacecraft orbiting a comet right now? And did you know that in less than 30 days, that spacecraft will deploy a lander which will attempt the first soft touchdown on a comet in human history?
On 6 August 2014, the Rosetta mission achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first mission to rendezvous with a comet. During the coming months, Rosetta will orbit the comet, deploy the Philae lander (in November 2014), and accompany the comet through perihelion (August 2015) until the nominal end of the mission.
There’s a great article on the ESA’s site which goes over the highlights of the mission, including the always-fascinating-to-me use of gravitational assists during the flight.
Rosetta could not head straight for the comet. Instead it began a series of looping orbits around the Sun that brought it back for three Earth fly-bys and one Mars fly-by. Each time, the spacecraft changed its velocity and trajectory as it extracted energy from the gravitational field of Earth or Mars. During these planetary fly-bys, the science teams checked out their instruments and, in some cases, took the opportunity to carry out science observations coordinated with other ESA spacecraft such as Mars Express, ENVISAT and Cluster.
Each of the fly-bys required months of intense preparation. In particular the fly-by of Mars in February 2007 was a critical operation: the new mission trajectory to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko required that Rosetta fly past Mars at just 250 km from the surface, and spend 24 minutes in its shadow.
That last bit is especially awesome, because Rosetta’s systems weren’t originally designed to deal with 24 minutes without sunlight. They had to reprogram the craft, while it was in space, so that it wouldn’t freak out.
- It was too hot.
- My neck hurt no matter what position I was in.
- Every little goddamned noise in or near the house conspired to drive me batshit bonkers.
So, yeah, that was fun.
I think I might have managed to fit an hour of sleep in there somewhere, but I doubt it. What I don’t doubt is the fact that I’ve got four appointments and a shit ton of work to do, all of which sort of require at least a few functioning brain cells.
Good times ahead!
…here’s what I’ve been up to in the last couple of weeks.
- My daughter turned ten on Saturday, which was awesome. Also? I feel really old.
- I somehow managed to strain my left trapezius muscle. No idea how I managed it, but I managed it, and it hurts like ten minutes of a Dana Carvey movie. I’ve made two trips to the doctor, taken two kinds of anti-hurt medicine, and the fucker still hurts—although the pain’s more like ten minutes of an Adam Sandler movie now, so that’s at least something.
- Work continues on The Project. In particular, I’m writing my ass off and what I’m writing doesn’t suck. In fact, most of it’s pretty good! We’re making decent progress, and should have something we can play test relatively soon, but…
- Our “To-Do” list has basically exploded since we got started. Like, we’re staring down the barrel of what’s going be at least double the amount of work we thought we’d have to do. We figured our initial list of Things Which Must Be Done would grow, but not this much or this quickly. We’re still optimistic about The Project’s future, but it’s a much more cautious optimism.
- I’ve had mountains of paperwork and whole mornings/afternoons filled with appointments recently. I’d get into the specifics of the what and why but it’s not that interesting. Suffice it to say, we live in neither a paperless society nor in a society where I can remain pantless and just Skype people when I need to meet with them. I am disappointed by both of these facts.
- I recently read Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (which is actually a pen name for Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) and it’s awesome. Really great space opera with just enough scientific realism to keep things consistent and not bog down the storytelling. This is actually the first book in a series called The Expanse and I’m currently about halfway through the second book Caliban’s War. You should read them.
- I also started reading the Warriors series of books by Erin Hunter (also a pen name for multiple authors) because my daughter loves them and keeps asking me to get into it. The first series consists of six books and I read the first three this weekend. They’re not bad. Definitely children’s fantasy, but entertaining enough that I don’t feel guilty having blown off all of Sunday reading them.
Anyway, those are the highlights. Now I’ve got to tie this off and get back to work.
I hack up another half a lung as I cast a sideways glance at the microphone gathering dust next to my tower. It’s a Blue Yeti, a big silver thing which manages to look both a little graceful and more than a little capable of killing an intruder if swung with a bit of sincerity. I haven’t touched it in weeks up until then.
“Okay, I’m back,” I hear my friend Shawn say. I slap the spacebar, killing Blind Guardian’s “Voice in the Dark.”
“Right,” I say.
My friend and I are talking over Skype, having the third—fourth?—of many telephonic discussions about The Project.
“So, what are at?”
I honestly don’t know.
I stare at the notes on my screen, which at the moment is really just one note: a single-spaced, two-page list of the things we need to have done in the next six months if The Project is to become anything other than a pipe dream. Even with it all laid out, I’m having trouble getting my head wrapped around it.
And that microphone keeps looking at me.
“I haven’t recorded shit,” I think I say out loud. If I did, though, Shawn doesn’t reply.
But it’s true. I haven’t recorded any gaming videos for my channel in nearly a month. In fact, I hadn’t actually done any gaming in that time. I’ve been too sick to do the former, and too apathetic to do the latter. Every day I wake up with the same hoarseness in my throat, and every time I look at the list of games in my Steam library I feel an attraction to none of them.
I briefly consider firing up the Sims 3 later on, but then I realize my friend’s still hanging out there on the other end of storm of silence, waiting for me to conduct us on to the next piece of Shit Which Must Get Done.
So I start talking. Just reading the list, mostly, trying to get my brain back into the present and us back on track. I only partly succeed.
See, my friend and I are lifelong gamers, I’m a writer, and he’s got this stubborn sort of drive that can keep him going at something like the Energizer Bunny. And somehow, somewhere, sometime during the previous week, we got it in our heads that we should take all that and try to make a game.
Years ago I did that very thing. A few times, even. I created a paper-and-pencil role-playing game, which I gave away for free on my old website, and I created several video games for my daughter, which I also gave away on my old website.
This time it’s different, though. This time, we’d be creating a product to sell. And as much as I worked hard on those other projects—and I’m proud of them—the bar’s set quite a bit higher when you expect people to fork over money.
Or it should be, anyway.
“It’s a lot, but it’s doable” I hear someone say, only realizing it’s my voice once I’m half-way through the sentence. “The list’s reasonably complete. This is what we’ll need if we want to have something people’ll want to play. We take it a piece at a time, slow and steady, and it’ll be fine.”
I throw another glance at the microphone when I say that, wondering if that’s actually true.
“Yeah,” Shawn says. “It looks like a lot. Is a lot. But yeah, I think we’ve got a good map here.”
And that’s true. The map’s good, as far as it goes. We both know we’ll be adding more to it—we can’t possibly have covered everything on our first stab at making a list, even if we did check it twice.
But it’s The Project, and it’s laid out in front of us, and even in all its bulleted-list glory it still looks like something we can do.
A few minutes later we say our goodbyes and I hang up the call. I cast another look at my disused Blue Yeti, shake my head, and even manage to smile a bit.
“Well,” I tell it, “I always said the writing comes first.”
I get up from my desk to grab a coffee before getting back to work.