Thursday, October 09, 2014

Still Looking

Had to head to Walmart this afternoon to pick up an online order of bedding for my daughter's room. Finished the remodel on it last week - stripped the walls and repainted them, tore up the carpet and refinished the hardwood floor underneath, stripped the woodwork of paint and stained it. So, it was time to get rid of the makeshift bedding she's been making do with and girlie her room up.

So, while I'm waiting for the clerk to find the package in the warehouse, I notice a large area where there are photos of missing kids, some of which are age progressed to what they might look like now after years of being gone. And then I saw a pair of 40-year old women on one poster, taken as young girls in 1975 and never heard from again. And my heart broke a little bit, knowing that there is still someone out there looking for them after all these years, hoping against hope to be reunited.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The "Science" Behind CotD

In Cities of the Dead, victims of the zombie plague die when the essentially bleed out. Doesn't matter if a person was bitten or got the virus through the air or direct contact: that person will suffer a day-long gradually increasing flu-like infection which will eventually knock them unconscious and cause them to bleed out. The person dies, then is "resurrected."

And now, "science" confirms the process: "Two Ebola patients, who died of the virus in separate communities in Nimba County have reportedly resurrected in the county. The victims, both females, believed to be in their 60s and 40s respectively, died of the Ebola virus recently in Hope Village Community and the Catholic Community in Ganta, Nimba."

Okay, okay, so maybe not science. Time to ready up with guns, ammo and canned goods, though...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

On the Tube

So, via Netflix last night I played ep. 1, season 1 of The Glades, a show about a Chicago cop who relocates to Florida because "fish out of water" scenario. I thought it might be sorta kinda like Justified, but, no. Fifteen minutes in, I turned to the wife and said I would never watch another episode. Unbelievable characters doing unbelievable things in unbelievable ways, all the while smiling happily as if murder mysteries are meant to be filled with mirth and joy and poorly played jokes. By the end of the episode, the main character arrests his partner because "surprise ending!"

Just further proof that my maxim to avoid shows about cops, lawyers and doctors remains true.

On the other hand, I'm several episodes into the television version of About a Boy, the novel by Nick Hornby. I kinda like it, even though it's not exactly funny (and my wife hates it). It just feels comfortable to watch, if that makes any sense.

Friday, September 19, 2014

History is not History

I don't write about politics. For the most part, anyway, because it's pointless. But some chump somewhere signed me up for Democratic Party notifications from North Carolina, so I'm constantly forced to unsubscribe/spam/delete my address from email lists. Normally, I don't even bother to skim the emails, but I found the latest one laughably stupid because it contravenes rationality.

Apparently, someone named Kay Hagen is running against someone named Thom Tillis for a seat in the US senate from North Carolina. Hagen is a Democrat, and is attacking Tillis for not voting to "apologize" for a race riot of some sort in 1898. Yeah, you read that right: something that happened in 1898 needs Republican apologies in 2014. Not at all surprising is that Tillis, the speaker of the NC house of representatives, voted not to apologize for something that had nothing to do with him when a measure came before the house.

And Hagen's team is all over that shit as proof that Tillis is a racist or something.

But what? Oh, right, here's the Wikipedia entry: "Originally described by whites as a race riot (suggesting blacks were at fault), the events are now classified as a coup d'etat, as white Democratic insurgents overthrew the legitimately elected local government.[2][3] A mob of nearly 2000 men attacked the only black newspaper in the state, and persons and property in black neighborhoods, killing an estimated 15 to more than 60 victims."

So, Democrat Kay Hagen wants Republican Thom Tillis to apologize for the sins of white Democrats, and if he doesn't, he's a modern-day racist. Or something.

I haven't figured out how the Democratic Party has managed to trick people into thinking the South was ruled by racist Republicans, but it's a good trick. You'd think the Republicans would have some way to counter this trick - you know, by using history or something - but then, Republicans are stupid.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


At this point in my writing career, I had expected to have a career like, say, Brad Thor or Neal Stephenson or any other fiction writer who can live off his writing - and then some - would have been fine for me. Hell, by now, I'd settle for a mid-list moderately successful fiction career where I made $50,000 per year.

Yeah, I'd probably settle for less than that at this point.

But I can lay claim to having sold fiction and made some money at it, and, even odder, more unexpected and somewhat gratifying, I can lay claim to being an internationally known writer. However insignificant and tiny my share of that claim is. But it's true. For the most part, my work has sold in English speaking countries - the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and, of course the USA. However, it's also sold copies in Spain, Germany and a couple of other European countries, and I think Mexico, too.

Today, we add Brasil. Or Brazil. Whichever. I know this because Amazon Brasil sent me a royalty check for a kindle sale. I don't know what I'm going to do with the 28 cents...

For the curious, I've been working of the third story of The Divine World series. I'm in chapter three or four at the moment and hoping to have the first draft done by Christmas, and the final draft out by the end of winter.

But the really exciting part of today is going to be using the palm sander to smooth the joint compound on the sheetrock I put over the hole the plumber put in the wall in the kitchen to get at the return pipe from the bathroom on the second floor.

A writer's life for me...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Movie Reviews, of a Sort

Okay, I'll just thumbnail the last few movies I've seen:

Cloud Atlas: Visually interesting. No idea what the plot was about, but it kept me watching through to the end with the hopes of finding out. Alas, I was never rewarded with a plot or a main character to root for. It was just a self-indulgent bit of movie-making that went for three hours (over two nights, as the wife and I had to stop half-way through on Saturday out of sleepiness).

Life of Pi: Completely pointless. No need to watch this "movie." It's a guy on a boat with a tiger.

Stuck in Love: An interesting little character-driven examination of love and trust and hope (and stupidity and idiocy). Nice acting all the way around, and the movie just had a certain kind of coziness to it that, done wrong, would have been a "blech" response

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Apple Watch

Okay, so Apple invented a watch, which is not really a ground-breaking thing to invent. A friend of mine strapped an iPod shuffle onto a strap a few years ago and invented an iWatch, if you will, which I thought was almost sorta cool at the time. I'm sure he wasn't the only one (if only because I've since become convinced that he probably bought the band somewhere, even though I've never seen them sold retail [and never looked]).

Would I wear an Apple watch? Sure. They're in my wheelhouse as far as watch-looking watches look (I currently wear daily Casio over-sized semi-digital "crush proof" watch which has a common name that I can't remember as I type this). I started wearing watches - again - after realizing that I was checking the time on my iPhone too often and irrationally fearing that I would drop it and shatter the screen (hence, maybe, the "crush proof" watch?).

Would I buy an Apple watch? Uhh, no. I don't even know why I upgraded my dumb phone to a smart phone all those years ago. The dumb phone did everything I needed it to do, and the smart phone now does everything I don't do with it, which includes using it as a phone. And, I pay a lot more for the privilege of having a phone that does tons of stuff I never do on it.

But, once-in-a-while, those apps do come in handy. Rarely. But, sometimes.

Now, if someone gave me an Apple watch, I'd wear it. Probably: as long as the battery kept it working from the time I put it on in the morning to the time I took it off at the end of the day. If it needed re-charging in-between, I'd be back to the Casio, which takes one battery every year or three.

I'm not sure where this wearable technology is going (there's Google Glass, for instance), but the tech world sure thinks we need to have access to info everywhere, all-the-time, even though most of us probably have little need for it. My guess is that until they can invent a chip that can be hard-wired into your skull and do all this unseen by others, few people will want it.

Although we'll see for sure next year when the Applephiles have the chance to get this gadget.