I’m in a pissy mood. Just plain and simple, I’m grumpy.

First of all, my project is behind schedule ’cause the testing environment people were so pokey getting our environment set up. So, in order to make up the slack they created, us systems analysts need to now work shifts for the rest of the month because we all can’t test simultaneously in the same environment. When we do so, we crash each other’s jobs. So now I’m working a fucked-up schedule for the next three weeks with late nights and weekends and no overtime. I hate working Friday and Saturday nights. And I hate that I’m not getting overtime for it.

Next, I’m just plain feeling uncharitable. There’s a dimwit over in the LJ community who’s espousing the “poor man’s copyright” (send your manuscript to yourself registered mail, don’t open it, blah blah blah) as a means of protecting author’s works. The poor man’s copyright has been worthless since 1909. I tried to set him straight, as I believe in spreading the word about the writing biz when I can, and he’s just being irksome and pig-headed. Hell, I even cited sources and provided links which he blatantly said he had no intention of clicking on. The stupid git. It annoys me because I posted with good intentions–to set the record straight so folks won’t waste their time and money on the useless artifice. And he’s arguing with me while refusing to acknowledge my sources (my main one being a writer’s lawyer specializing in intellectual propery and publishing law, deceptive acts and practices, and complex litigation). No reason. Just ’cause.

Okay, normally something like that wouldn’t particularly bug me, but today I’m on a short fuse.

And finally, I’m especially miffed with myself because I seem to be, once again, mired in writer’s block. I sit down to write, and nothing comes. I re-read what I’ve got to get back into the flow (my standard operating procedure), and when it comes time to make new words, nothing, nadda, zip. Fuckity fuckity fuckity.

Fume. Stomp. Growl.

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12 Responses to Grrr

  1. yakdog says:

    Not that you have much time at the moment, but…

    …when you do, I highly recommend Stephen King’s On Writing. He has a thing or three to say about writer’s block…

    As I type this, my copy is still packed. If you’d like, I could unpack it and bring it with when I visit Atlanta…?

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Re: Not that you have much time at the moment, but…

      As I type this, my copy is still packed. If you’d like, I could unpack it and bring it with when I visit Atlanta…?

      That would be the spiffiest of spiffies, except now I’m not sure how the 15th is looking for our erstwhile hang out plans. My project team and I are still wrangling out the exact schedules for weekends this month.

      Argh. Did I mention ARGH?

      • yakdog says:

        Are they eeeevil schedules?

        Well, we can always make tentative arrangements…, Andy, and I will be eating somewhere on Saturday at 8:00pm. We might as well pick one that’s convenient for you and Matthew, then hope for the best. If you make it, there will be much rejoicing; if not, there will be a great wailing and gnashing of teeth, but at least we won’t starve. *chuckle*

        I sympathize with your predicament (page back to my March indexing adventures…), and hope that everything turns out for the best.

        • Eugie Foster says:

          Re: Are they eeeevil schedules?

          Tentative arrangement will have to be the way we go. Hopefully we’ll get this decidedly eeeevil schedule hammered out today and I’m lobbying to keep that Saturday free for me. But the kicker is, if something comes up, I might get called in anyway. Whereas only one SA can run a job at a time, two, in theory, can debug simultaneously. Sigh.

  2. mouseferatu says:

    I just read the exchange you’re talking about over at the RPG forum. And all I can say is…

    What an absolute fuck-wad this guy’s being. (Hope you’ll forgive the cursing in your journal, dunno how else to phrase it.)

    “I refuse to follow your links to see your souces, and you’re a bad debater for not including sources.” What the hell is that?!

    That guy’s annoyed me for weeks now, but I’ve never seen so concrete an example of why. Sorry you had to be the one to experience it.

    And for what it’s worth, thanks. I also didn’t know the “poor man’s copyright” was bunk. Not that I ever used it–I don’t send stuff to companies I don’t think are reputable, and I don’t worry about reputable companies stealing my stuff–but it’s good to know anyway.

    • Eugie Foster says:


      Thanks, Mousie-fangs. Normally I try to keep my cool about on-line postings, but this guy really riled me up. I was wondering if I was just out-of-sorts and should rein myself in, so I’m relieved and glad that someone else sees how obnoxious he’s being.

      Yay! He’s an absolute fuck-wad bastard and it isn’t just me being bitchy. Whew.

      • velvetfaery says:

        Re: Whew

        No, you’re not just out of sorts… I just went and read the whole thread, and he is, indeed, a complete fuck-wad.

        However, I have been somewhat sleep-deprived and out of sorts today. Since taking it out on the MCI rep earlier doesn’t seem to have satisfied me in my crankiness, and since every post of his in that thread was making me mad, I went ahead and added a comment.

        Hope you don’t mind… it felt very cathartic for me.

        • Eugie Foster says:

          Re: Whew

          Mind? Not at all. In fact, I felt like cheering when I read your post. Hopefully that fuckwit will shut up and go away now.

          Thanks for the excellent moral support 🙂

  3. dr_pipe says:

    Hmm. I was under the impression that everything was implicitly copyright protected, unless authors/artists/whatever gave permission to use it, and thus the mailing yourself the text would serve as proof that you wrote it first and the rest would be an implicit right. I think I read that on the Tor web page. If I’m wrong you’d better throw out those links you mentioned so I’ll know what the hell I’m talking about.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Something is copyrighted the moment you put the words down and the “poor man’s copyright” is a waste of time and money, and is useless in court.

      To read up about it, go to the Rumor Mill and do a search under “poor man’s copyright.” John Savage is the lawyer source who explains most of it. You can search on his name as the author as well to narrow it down further.

      In a nutshell (from the words of John Savage):
      – The “poor man’s copyright” has been obsolete as any sort of legal copyright tool since 1909.
      – It is worthless for two reasons:
      (1) It is no better evidence of the actual date of creation than records kept in the ordinary course of business; and
      (2) It can only be used once. Once the package has been opened, it’s useless. Further, given the way discovery and hearings actually work—from the time a suit is filed to the time that something might be presented to the judge for inspection is usually at least 24 months, for starters—the “sealed package” isn’t going to help. At all.

      Although these are not the formal elements, one must prove two things in a copyright infringement action: sufficient similarity and opportunity to copy. Unlike patent and trademark law, independent creation is as defense to an accusation of copyright infringement.

      Also, the poor man’s copyright proves nothing, because you could have mailed an unsealed envelope to yourself, then sealed up a manuscript when it became a source of contention.

      So, don’t mail yourself your manuscripts. Just keep good records.

      If you have problems navigating the links or finding the pertinant information, let me know and I can point you to specific posts and topics.

      • dr_pipe says:

        Well I can see why the mailed text would be useless, but why would records be any better? I could make up records about how I wrote something back in ’98 anytime. What kind of proof is actually conclusive?

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