Monday, December 28, 2009

Doctor Who: End of Time Part 1

I watched the first part of the Doctor Who special End of Time last night. I will not spoil it for anyone, but I must admit that their solution was much better than mine. Those who have watched the espisode already will understand what I am talking about. I may still write up my solution, just because I think that my solution would have been interesting to play around with.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Only 3026 words so far, many more to go

Well, I have only done 3,026 words so far for NaNoWriMo. I should be almost at twelve thousand words (11,669 to be exact) at the end of the day if I was on schedule. Basically I have written six nights for a little while each day, and have only accomplished like two days worth (a touch short actually from even that short goal of 3,334 words).

It is enourgh to drive home the point that I might not even be capable of being a hack. But then again, I had homework, newspaper articles and finished off reading Dracula. I might not be a great writer, but even on a busy week I hacked out three thousand words. I guess that is something to smile about.

In the old days, we used to travel by couch and buggy, or maybe horse and buggy, horses, boat, or just on foot. There are some that believe that we used to (and still do) travel by fairy circle, stone hedges and by flying around on broomsticks. The latter has always puzzled me. Why would anyone trust their existence to a slender piece of wood with straw tied to the end? I do not care how strong of a candle you light, the rarity of the feathers that you tie onto it, or the awesome power of your charms; it is still just a stick being held up by the power of positive thinking. I will stick with mechanical means of travel, thank you no. Then again, given the security line and the reliability of pilots nowadays, going to a broom closet and selecting your own means of travel might be preferable if it wasn’t for the exhaustion that making a broom fly would result in.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Snow Days 2009

The last couple of days, I have been snowed in. Oh, I could have gotten someplace if I really wanted to, but I am finding that as I grown older that the urge to brave the weather lessens every year.

I have discovered that you can tell a lot by how someone spends a snow day. In my case, I napped a lot. My wife, Toni, spent the day napping also (she thought she was coming down with some bug).

I could have spent it working, but my heart was not into it. The same goes for homework. I am still having days when I hear my sister's opinion of my entire life in my head (basically, she thinks that I am doing everything wrong and generally wasting my time while leeching off of others).

It is for that fact that I really do not feel guilty about not accomplishing anything on these snow days; after all, I am not expected to. There is also the little fact that I am doing National Novel Writing Month starting on November 1st. I figure that considering that I am going to be attempting to write 50,000 words in thirty days, plus do everything else that I need to do in November, that a couple of naps while being snowed in are not the end of the world. In fact, I might actually earn them next month.

Early warning---most of my posts that I do in November are going to read: Day X of NaNoWriMo, Y words done, Z words to go.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Goofy summary of Isaish 1:10-20

Goofy summary of Isaiah 1.10-20 that was done for the Adopt a Prophet and create a facebook page for them project (for the Bible as Literature class):
(MDE: I actually made a mistake here; it was actually the Chiefs of Sodom and the people of Gomorrah being addressed here. But someplace in my mind, these two people belong to Israel.)

God to Israel: Why do I need your numerous sacrifices?

Israel to God: Have another ox!

God to Israel: It is the incense of abomination to me!

Israel to God: Have another meal offering!

God to Israel: I am FULL!

Israel to God: New moon! Time for another ox!

God to Israel: Another empty sacrifice. Why can’t you just live ethically? And quit sending me Happy Meals!

Silly summary of Isaiah 6:1-9

Silly summary of Isaiah 6.1-9, another bit from the Adopt a Prophet and make a facebook page for them assignment for Biblical Literature class.

Death: King Uzziah is dead.

God: I am sitting in my throne room.

Seraphim: We are also in the throne room.

Isaiah: Sorry, I did not know anyone was in here.

Seraphim: Holy, holy, holy is HaShem, Master of Legions; the whole world is filled with his glory.

Isaiah: Woe is me, for I am doomed: for I am a man of impure lips and I dwell among a people with impure lips, for my eyes have seen the King, HaShem, Master of Legions.”

Seraphim: Behold, this coal has touched your lips; your iniquity has gone away and your sin shall be atoned for.

God: Whom shall I send, and who shall go for us?

Isaiah: Here I am! Send me!

God: Good, a volunteer.

Seraphim: It is a good thing that he volunteered; we are all out of burning bushes.

God: Say to the people---

Isaiah: What people?

God: ---Surely, you hear, but you do not comprehend; and surely you see, but you fail to understand.

Isaiah: Oh! Those people!

God: This people is fattening its heart, hardening its ears, and sealing its eyes, lest it see with its eyes, hear with its ears, and understand with its heart, so that it will repent and be healed.

Obama: We need to reform health care and education.

God: Who are you?

Obama: I am the chosen instrument of change.

Isaiah: I thought I was.

God: You are.

Isaiah: Who is?

Obama: Who is?

Seraphim: There should be a law against parodies like this.

Friday, September 18, 2009

RAEBNC

Earlier this month, I had a comment on one of my blog entries saying that she (Kate) wished that she could give it a simple thumbs up like we do on facebook (without having to leave an actual comment).

And I understood exactly what she was saying. There are times I wish that option was available also.

I have a friend whose blog I have quit commenting on because he wants comments, and good comments at that: no repeating what other people have said, constructive and insightful comments. I rarely comment on his blog simply because of time schedules, I am like the twentieth comment (and it is hard work to come up with something that he will tolerate from me). He hates (or maybe loathes) what I am about to suggest to my own readers.

If you want to give me a thumbs up, but do not want to leave a full comment, just say "RAEBNC."

For those people who have never been a member of an amateur press association (APA): RAEBNC is shorthand for "Read and enjoyed, but no comment."

Interestingly enourgh, the same APA that I picked up an appreciation for RAEBNC is the same place that my friend picked his hatred for the term. But in all fairness, we were at different places in our development as writers when we were members of that APA (Phoenix---a science fiction/fantasy APA).

Go ahead and RAEBNC me; I won't be insulted.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Fringe version of September 11th

Last night, I was watching the rerun of the first season finale of Fringe. And I realized that 9/11 played out differently in the Fringe alternate universe (the one where Bell is located).

The Twin Towers are still standing in that universe. So what target got hit and destroyed? The White House.

The newspaper on Bell's desk said that the Obama family was moving into the new White House. I realize that this is old news to everyone else who is a Fringe fan (I forgot to tape this particular espisode, so this is only the second time that I saw it).

Nevertheless, it was freaky watching this rerun the day before the anniversity of 9/11.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Music video review: Rocking the Beer Gut

This week, one of iTunes (US store) free video offerings is a country video by Trailer Choir: Rockin' the Beer Gut.

It is a good thing that this video is free because I sure would not drop hard cash down for it. Don't get me wrong; I found it amusing.

But that may just be my childhood rearing its ugly head. I lived in a trailer park for awhile. It reminded me of the ladies some of the men seemed to love to chase. I am not sure why they chased them; they just did.

For me, this video is two out of five stars, and I think that is probably being really generous.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cats going to the vet today





Two cats are going to the vet today. One is getting fixed, and both are being tested for FL (hopefully they do not have it---if they do: they will have to be put to sleep). Both are sweet boys that were abandoned.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

RIP Charlie

To add to the troubles of this week, on Thursday, we had to take one of the cats to the vet. Charlie had gotten injuried in a cat fight and the wound was not healing. Given the fact that she was eighteen years plus in age, we decided that putting her to sleep was more merciful than attempting mutliple operations and trying to keep the other cats away from her. I ended up crying a lot; after all, she was one of my cats and I had her for eighteen plus years. RIP Charlie.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Computer Crash of June 2009

Yesterday was the only day this month that I did not have my wife, or someone else, scheduled to interrupt my workday as a writer.

So what happens...

Yep, that is right. A computer crash. Some dll got corrupted and Windows would not start; I was forced to hit system recovery.

So an eight hour writing day, a bunch of free time, and I have finally got Windows back up to date; my anti-virus reinstalled; two of my web browsers back up and MSN messenger.

I have yet to get the printer driver installed. Nor have I set up a different user section for my wife (mainly because she needs different settings for her Spanish homework and iTunes). And I haven't even thought about trying to recover my own files.

So I am at least a couple of more days away from doing any more writing.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Joined Bukisa

Now that I am done with the Open Full Moon ritual, I finally had time to do a couple of things that I have been putting off.

I checked my grades: two As (Shakespeare; History: Theory and Practice), one A- (Literature: Cather Willa) and one B+ (Rome: City and Empire). I am going to have to go online later and see if I can figure out what is up with my aid for the fall semester.

On the writing end, I am working on three book reviews.

And I finally got around to joining Bukisa. An online writer friend told me about the site a couple of months ago, but I just did not have time to go look at it until today.

Bukisa is another site that you can post articles to and earn income from. It reminds me of Associated Content except that you can earn referral income from Bukisa, a whole three levels worth. There are no upfront payments, but the rate for thousand unique pageviews is higher than Associated Content. The payout threshold is ten dollars, payable though Paypal (net plus 30). The site is open to non-US residents.

Bukisa may be worth the time for an online writer to check out. One knows that those who are good at getting referrals are going to flock to it, simply because they will do better there than on Helium and Associated Content.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Star Trek Gear

Today, over at the MSN/PC World section of the internet, I ran across a slideshow of Star Trek gear. Am I really this geeky? I have to ask.

Even if I was this geeky I am sure that my wife would draw the line and say no, especially to the mousepad; we are allowed cats, not Kirk in the loo.

Of course, the home remodeling projects are out of the question, such as the home theater that looks like a starship bridge. Even I find that way too much.

And ultimately, I didn't see anything that wouldn't make the wife think about where to stick my dead body.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

I wished I would have wrote this

There are times, both as a college student and as a freelance writer, that I read something and say "Gee, I wished that I would have wrote that; it is so much better than what I wrote." Today, over at Helium, I had one of those moments.

The other day, I wrote a review of a gaming suppliment that I had stumbled over: The Book of Erotic Fantasy. I suggested the title to Helium and it was approved. It is one of those titles that you hope becomes competitive, just so you can read the comments that others are making.

And this morning, I discovered that someone else had looked at the book and commented on it: Carrie Schutrick.

I am green with envy. I really wished that my review of this gaming suppliment was as good as hers. She said everything I wanted to, and some stuff I should have.

Here is the link to her review of The Book of Erotic Fantasy. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Short Story Link: Voodoo Economics

Voodoo Economics (The Lodestone Mine Incident)

Before you take money away from someone, you should ask yourself what they did to earn it. You may also want to ask yourself what are they likely to do when they get upset. Congressman Kelley forgot to ask both of these questions.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Are fair book reviews possible?

While I was working on my latest book review, I found myself wondering if it was even possible to do a fair and unbiased book review.

It might have been the fact that I could hear a voice in the back of my head saying "If you can not say anything nice, then do not say anything at all." I am not sure what one of my relatives said that, but I am sure that the voice is one from my childhood.

And with this particular book, it was natural to hear it.

The reason I considered writing a review for the book is simply the fact that the author rants and raves about a couple of bad book reviews that he recieved when the book came out; as in he gives links to the bad reviews...the freelance writer in me goes if I write a bad book review, will he give me free advertising too?

Probably not: my book review ended being a lot more favorable than I expected it to be. I actually found some merit in his book. Sigh. I am going to have to do my own advertising.

(My regular readers know how sad that makes me; I have never been really good at advertising.)

But over the years, I have done a lot of bad book reviews.

A few years ago, one writer that I know said that he would send a free copy of his book to legitimate book reviewers. What exactly is a legitimate book reviewer? I am betting it is one that you are sure is going to give you a favorable review.

Or at least it is if you do not know how books actually get sold. It is not the reviews that sell books, it is the word of mouth. Even a bad book review can sell books (calling something a train wreck makes people curious for some reason).

So it probably does not matter what my opinion of your book is, you just have to get people curious enourgh about it to sell copies.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pirate Bay Trial

One of the news stories that I have been following recently is The Pirate Bay Trial.

I will admit that as a writer, I have mixed feelings about The Pirate Bay and peer to peer file sharing. On one hand, I do not like the thought that someone could rob me of potential income from my copyrights. On the other hand, there is a lot of junk published in the occult field that should not recieve the dignity of generating income for their creator.

Hopefully, I do not fall into that last category. But I probably do; remember I set the price of one of my works, the Three Officer Version of the Golden Dawn Neophyte Ritual, based on the fact that I figure that I would sell a single copy to a new budding lodge and then it would met a photocopier.

There is also the fact that many of the out-of-print books that I seek out end up going for hundreds of dollars on eBay. If they were really that special, the publishers would reprint them.

Now, I will admit using some torrents for video files. In my defense, I would like to point out that I could not find a copy of StarCops for anything close to a reasonable price.

There is also the fact that the fan generated content of Star Trek Phase II (formerly Star Trek New Voyages) is accessible though torrents. Of course, that is a non-profit operation, so they really don't care about peer to peer file sharing.

So maybe, I am a secret pirate supporter. Of course, this is like being a secret Regardie supporter. Some people understand it; other people will not.

Of course, the big argument behind the Pirate Bay trial is that the Pirate Bay is robbing movie, TV and music companies of income (I don't think that the publishing houses are terribly concerned with file sharing, but I could be wrong).

I am sorry, but the honest truth is that the companies are still not going to get the income even if they somehow manage to shut down all torrent sites. We will just have people doing this in other ways---"Bring your flash drives and I will give you a copy of the lastest season of Prison Break..."

We are living the opening days of a brand new business model (think of the days of rampant copying of other people work during the days of the early printing press). Newspapers, such as the Rocky Mountain News are going to fall due to losing classified ads to the internet, and mass media companies are going to have to figure out ways to sell their stuff on the internet despite the fact that the internet is as secure as an unguarded chicken in the same room as my cat.

Looking into my cracked crystal ball, I can make a prediction: twenty years from now, none of us will believe that the Pirate Bay was a real issue considering the new business model that we will end up with when media creators catch onto how to make money despite the internet file sharing capabilities.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Prisoner (Number 6) died Tuesday

On Tuesday, Patrick McGoohan, the creator of the cult television series, The Prisoner died.

I must admit that I was a big fan of the series, one of those who treated the series the way that a literature major treats a classic work by a great writer: what did he mean to say; why did he use this symbol; are we trapped in the Village ourselves?

The series have influenced my witing, my philosophy, and in the past, I have ran a role playing game in that setting.

Alas, Number 6, we barely knew you.