Friday, April 13, 2018

"Things I Realized on Finding an Alien in the Passenger Seat of My Car" appears in Flash Fiction Online

My short story Things I Realized on Finding an Alien in the Passenger Seat of My Car has been published in the April 2018 issue of Flash Fiction Online. I've been waiting for this for about six months. This is my second sale at a professional rate, and my first SFWA-qualifying sale.

I've been having a great time with this one. It's pretty great to have a story in an online magazine where you can share it with everyone and they don't have the barrier of having to locate and purchase a copy before they can read it. Tons of people at my office have told me they read and enjoyed it, and then they cite details proving they really did read it.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Some reviews of my story "Daughter of Mettle"

I did some vanity googling and found these brief mentions of the story. The story itself (which came out way back in 2013) can be read at http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/superhero/aaron-damommio/daughter-of-mettle

It's rewarding to find people posting about it. In several cases below, you'll want to search for the word 'mettle' as the story gets only a paragraph in an article.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

My story "Road Trip" to appear in anthology

My story "Road Trip" will appear in the Fell Beasts and Fair anthology from Spring Song Press.  The anthology collects stories about magical creatures. This'll be my longest published piece so far, at about 3500 words, and my first one to feature a werewolf, and a sandwich. 

It's available for preorder now, shipping March 20, 2018. The link above takes you the Amazon page; it's available as a Kindle ebook and a paperback, though the paperback may trail the ebook in availability. 

As a result, I now have an Amazon author page, and you can search Amazon for 'damommio' and find the book, which somehow thrills me a lot.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Generating menu ideas with a simple Excel spreadsheet

I have often found it difficult to plan menus for our house. So I thought I'd try randomly generating menus, and I'm excited about the results. We've been using this system for about 3 weeks, and here's what I've learned:

  • The most important thing here was to make a list of entrees that we actually cook at our house. That alone is a great resource for planning new menus.
    • "Aaron likes lists, and solving a problem with a new list makes him happy" isn't really anything new. But this is the first time I've tried to make a relatively comprehensive list of meals.
  • We're trying to plan our weeks more tightly. It's ok if we change the plan mid-week. But I'm finding it more useful than ever to have a plan for the whole week.
  • This is of some use in avoiding letting food we buy go bad before we cook it, but only if I stay on top of that issue.

I'm only talking about dinners here. I tried to find the lowest-tech way I could do this fast, and also something that would keep whatever data I generated in a common format. So, here's what I did:

  • Made a list of meal options in one column of an Excel spreadsheet
  • Inserted random numbers in the next column, using "=RAND()" in each cell.
  • SORT the list using the column of random numbers as the sort key.
The sort trick isn't my idea, I got it from searching on ideas for how to randomly sort rows in Excel. 
That's it. I made it slightly fancier by writing a macro to do the sort and tying that to a key combo, but really I didn't do that until I had it for a while. 

Each week I sort the list and then take the top 10 or so options and pick the actual ones I feel like making, freely throwing out stuff we ate recently or that sounds too involved for this week. 

At first I thought I would be generating a list of 5 or 10 items,but sorting the WHOLE list and then just taking the top few items works fine. If I hate most of the top choices, I can just go deeper in the list.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Could you use JavaScript to make links that both rickroll and provide the original link as well?

I was thinking that it ought to be possible to use JavaScript to create a link that takes you to a rickroll youtube page, but also provides the original desired link in some fashion. That is, you get rickrolled, but then the actual link you thought you were clicking on is available to you.

But, I'm not quite sure how to approach that, and I don't find anything like that in a Google search, so I'm putting it out there lazyweb style to see if anyone else knows how to do this.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

My story "The Van Helsing Women's Shelter" now published on Stupefying Stories SHOWCASE

I'm very pleased to announce that a short story of mine, "The Van Helsing Women's Shelter," is now available on the Stupefying Stories SHOWCASE website, just in time for Halloween. In a world where vampires are real, you could hope we might create a few institutions to deal with the problem.

This story was something of a response to one called "Bitten Women's Shelter" in Daily Science Fiction...a story whose premise I loved but whose take on the situation bugged me. So thanks to author Sean Vivier for blazing that trail.

You can find my complete list of publications here.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Colorado having great success with long-term birth control methods to reduce teen pregnancies

...but funding is apparently drying up.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/06/science/colorados-push-against-teenage-pregnancies-is-a-startling-success.html?_r=0

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Why people choose violence

I thought this article on Aeon was striking for its evidence-based approach to trying to answer the question of why people commit violent acts.

http://aeon.co/magazine/philosophy/people-do-violence-because-their-moral-codes-demand-it/

It has ramifications for our justice system and for attempts to reduce things like gang violence, and in general for understanding other cultures.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Beating a chess master with a queen sacrifice

Wow, long time no post. Here's a fun piece about how having good chess AIs available to all can change the way people train for chess. In it, the author describes how he prepared for a queen sacrifice gambit and then executed it against a much more highly rated player.

http://magazine.storycollider.org/2012/features/the-departed-queen/view-all/