Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Yeah, okay, maybe he swiped Poul Anderson's stove and then went back for the smoke, but check out the new Avatar trailer here.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Every writer is different, of course, but there are a couple of categories into which many, if not most, of us who do it full-time fall: We are distance runners or sprinters, and now and then, both.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Not to get all mysterious again, but once more, I'm off to see the Wizard ...
Monday, October 26, 2009
Remember all that stuff Steve Jobs has been saying about how Apple isn't interested in eReaders 'cause folks don't read any more? (And how Apple has never, ever led people down the garden path before? Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain ... ?)
Sunday, October 25, 2009
So, a year ago yesterday, I had that little knee surgery wherein half the tattered meniscus on the right knee got snipped off and flushed out. For those of you who might be considering a date with the knife for a similar condition, an update.
Friday, October 23, 2009
So, my wife has passed her 4Runner along to our daughter, whose van has gotten somewhat creaky for hauling her boys around, and bought a new car.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Lord of the Flies. It's a nickname for Beezelbub, and also the name of a novel and a couple of subsequent movies about schoolboys shipwrecked on an island who quickly lose the veneer of civilization and revert to savagery.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Got an email query about martial arts, connected to the recent posts. Question was, How do you know for sure the things you have been studying will work if you need them?
So, my recently-replaced gas furnace igniter shorted out again. Lasted just under two weeks ...
Considering a less-lethal self defense option? Check this out first:
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
As a writer, I am comfortable jotting things down. I keep a little yellow sticky pad -- sometimes these aren't yellow, but blue or pink or green -- on my desk and anything that pops into my head I might want to recall later, I make a note of it. Plot points or scenes in the current book get laid down this way. Appointments and daily chores go there too, even though I usually put those on the computer's iCal to get pop-up reminders. Ideas for stories -- had one yesterday about a little old lady who lives in the house next door to the front gate to Hell.
Step in with right foot leading, right rising punch, braced at the wrist with the
left hand. Hips corked, same stances as in Djuru #1. Punch twists.
Weapon leading, turn upper base to left, feet mostly still. Your right arm drops to low line, still in a fist, palm facing right, and you will essentially block with it from shoulder to fist, covering yourself from groin to shoulder. Your left hand will block your face, at your right shoulder.) Bend your right elbow, bring fist up and inside your left arm, across your chest and toward your opponent in a backfist. As you do, turn upper base back toward front. Keep your left hand up until the right arm clears it, then use the left to brace the right forearm. Move through backfist position smoothly (this looks like one continuous move) to:
Chamber right arm ...
Obliquely connected to my martial arts post, one regarding boomware. This concerns the position of a firearm for home defense, and how care must be taken to avoid making it too handy.
Monday, October 19, 2009
All Saints Eve is just shy of a couple weeks away, and aside from working "Monster Mash" and "Werewolves of London" into my guitar repertoire, I came up with a new short story that seems to go with the season.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Cynical Turn of Mind
Okay, listen, Falcon -- you hide in the attic until Daddy comes to get you. Be real quiet, it's for the show, right? And later, when the nice lady on the teevee asks you about it, don't say "show," and for God's sake, don't throw up, okay ... ?
No, no, the Curly-Headed Stranger did it ...
I feel bad about having such cynical thoughts, but as soon as they caught up with the downed balloon and there was no kid in it? It started to smell like three-day-old fish even through the digital screen.
What an age. If they'd found the boy alive and well in the balloon, it would have been wonderful. If they'd found him dead from a high fall, tragic. That he was in the attic says something else entirely. I worry that it is the ghost of P.T. Barnum fucking with us ..."
I can't say I'm happy to have been right about it ...
Friday, October 16, 2009
I get asked this now and again, and on the heels of the politics-in-the-arts post, a kind of answer.
This is not another broadside in the ship-to-ship cannonades of the silat wars, but a general observation demonstrating the truth of something that Chas Clements used to use as the closing to his Usenet postings -- I'll get back to that in a minute.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Things you learn early tend to stay with you. Not that you can't unlearn them, it just seems that old tapes are harder to erase once they've played a few thousand times in your head ...
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I don't think the new FCC laws will apply to novels, but just to keep things on the up-and-up, here's is part of the acknowledgment page in the current book-in-progress:
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
There is a phrase, sometimes used in musical realms to denote playing a wrong note, or even the right note played badly -- it's called hitting a clam.
In 1960, my family moved from the city out into the burbs. As I was already going to junior high, 7th grade, it was determined that I would continue to attend that school, riding in with my father, whose job at the plant took him past the place every week day. After school, I would hang out somewhere until he got off work. Or catch a bus, or hike to where my mother was working in the city, and ride home with her.
The Fight-or-Flight Syndrome, a term coined in 1929, apparently, is part of the hardwiring, not just in humans but in other mammalian species. Updated by more research, the terms "freeze," aka "tonic immobility," and even "fainting" have been added in many places.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Came across a piece in The New Yorker about Nikki Finke, who does a blog on the Biz down in LaLaLand. Apparently, she sometimes knows what is going on, where, and with whom before they know it themselves ...
Sunday, October 11, 2009
So, on a lazy, windy Sunday afternoon, furnace fixed and the heat back on, I settled down with MacDonald and Travis, with The Quick Red Fox.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
We had plans for the weekend that included a double birthday party for a couple of grandsons, and then a nice jaunt into the Gorge to camp for a night or two on the river. But as plans sometimes do, these got altered: My wife is teetering on the edge of illness -- viral URI symptoms -- and better for her to take it easy, drink a lot of water, and see if she can stay ahead of what is trying to ail her.
Friday, October 09, 2009
So Indy is down in Hati running with the zombi, and the reviews are starting to come in. Sales seem pretty good, reactions mixed -- some like it, some don't, and as I've pointed out before, a writer can't get attached to such things, since it's too late to do anything about it once the book is published.
So, Barack Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first reaction of the GOP chairman, Michael Steele is to scoff and call it "unfortunate."
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Last night, after watching the latest Masterpiece Mystery and Top Chef on the tube, I switched to the local late-night news. Came an ad for toothpaste. A new and improved! version of one that's been around a while, and to listen to the V.O. and watch the animation, this stuff is the best product since glow-in-the-dark condoms. (If you ever saw Skin Deep, with John Ritter, that fight between two men in the dark wearing glow-in-the-dark condoms? Unforgettable.)
Um, but back to toothpaste. So the new, improved! stuff will not only clean and disinfect your mouth, it will wax your car and change the cat's litter box, and fish Timmy out of the well, and Jeez, I need to get some of it, right now!
But just for fun, I got online and checked out Consumer Reports. Guess what? One whitening toothpaste is pretty much the same as another. None of them work particularly well, and the one that seems to do the best job with minimal abrasion is the old (and cheap) one, Ultrabrite.
The more things change, the more they stay the same ...
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
To those of you whose ears perked up and who started thinking of everybody they could call or email to rat me out when they read this title, one word:
Using infrared imagining, scientists have discovered a new, huge ring around Saturn. So diffused that you wouldn't see it if you were in it, and big enough that it would take a billion Earths to fill it.