Tuesday, September 30, 2008

big boys no toys

Day 33 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Well, it looks like only one more sleep and then tomorrow I’m playing bubble tennis with the “big boys”.

Yah, my thoughts exactly. Seems the person running the league (a pro) is questioning my abilities already - without ever having seen me hit one ball - and wishing only the “elite” would get invited to “his” league.

He actually wants try outs - for an evening league.

Yah, again.

But, the head pro says I can play. And he has seen me play already - so there is some encouragement.

Still, I get this funny feeling the league running pro is going to do everything in his power to humiliate me and make me want to leave.

So, guess I’ll just have to kick his ass a bit and turn the tables.

Only one problem with that plan. It will likely only work great in my mind. Though I used to be very, very good - lack of practice and advancing age have taken the razor sharp edge off my game.

My talents are more of a steak knife now instead of a Ginzu.

Still, I have moments of brilliance on the court.

I just hope tomorrow night is one of them.

And on a non-related but same day issue - tomorrow I'm supposed to get access to the systems I need to do my new job - you know, the new job I’ve been doing for one month already.

Speedy service where I work.

And I'm also still waiting for a new computer a work. I think it’s coming direct from Korea - on a boat, with paddlers.

Until tomorrow . . .

Monday, September 29, 2008

do or do not

Day 32 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Holy cow - where did that weekend go?

Seems like only yesterday, it was three days ago. And I had such grand plans too.

I was going to get Reader’s Den all set up for the next month - didn’t happen.

I was going to get the dreaded lawn mowed - didn’t happen.

I was going to edit a huge part of my novel - didn’t happen.

So what did happen to my time exactly?

Well, I finished the Niven novel I was reading and part 3 of 6 Campaigns in Heroes of Might and Magic V, did 6 loads of laundry and cooked several meals - Oh, and I watched some Farscape and a Comedy movie with Jennifer Love Hewitt . . .

. . . not literally though - Jennifer was in the movie not watching with me as my ambiguous prose may have led you to believe. My wife watched with me. We do that sometimes - watch romantic comedies together. This one (even forgot the name) was, well, it was . . .

. . . was it ever formulaic. After having researched and written my own romantic comedy - that did happen - I find watching movies now a bit of a connect the dots.

What seems to make one movie much better for me now than the other - dialogue choices and acting.

If those two elements are one - movie = good.

If one of those elements is off - movie = not so good.

If both of those elements are off - movie = the suckage.

One word for me and movies these days: Crotchety.

. . . Or snob. And I hear you - If I think I’m such an authority why don’t I write the next Oscar winning script . . .

. . . did you read the first part of this blog?

That’s why.

If I ever get my act together - I mean really together - I will likely change the entire perception of entertainment the world over - but so far - didn’t happen.

Until tomorrow . . .

Sunday, September 28, 2008

just rewards but I want more

Day 31 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Wow, spent the entire afternoon looking at DVD sets, TVs, computers, computer games, etc.

And bought nothing. Yes, I’m bad for our economy.

But fear not.

Come celebration time, near the end of this year, I’m going to make one significant purchase under 1000 bucks.

Can that be considered significant? Maybe it’s relative. For me any outlaying of cash from say 500 to 1000 is pretty significant.

Oh I know some of you may spend that in an afternoon, enhancing your beauty or pushing buttons on a slot machine without a care - but I would feel significant guilt if I did that without a long, hard evaluation of the purchase.

I have no real necessity for a new computer or larger TV.

I just damn well want one . . .

. . . or the other.

And therein lies my little dilemma.

I could get both, but then I would have to compromise. Do I really want a smaller LCD TV and a slower, on the verge of becoming obsolete in a month, computer - or do I want a Big Plasma TV OR a kick arse speed demon gaming machine/computer.

Why do I “need” these things at all? Could I be a product of consumerism? I don’t get it from watching commercials - no TV hookup - but I do like playing computer games and watching TV shows ala DVD . . .

Getting one or the other is going to be my reward.

Reward for what you may ask.

Well, my reward for continued writing in the face of every mind-forged manacle and self-inflicted roadblock I am able to throw in my way to writing success. Believe me, I’m very good at it.

Still, 31 days of straight blogging and going strong.

Novel editing on course and I’m even going to do NaNoWriMo again this year despite the potential for driving me to complete insanity.

That’s why.

But, I really can’t decide. Honest. I look at my DVD collection and wish I could see it on the Big screen at home . . . then I look at all the very cool computer games coming out and wish I could play them on a lightening fast gaming machine.

And I get mind freeze.

Perhaps the company I work for will go under and my only decision will be how fast I can unload all my goods on Ebay to continue to live in my house and have food to eat.

Perhaps I should become a monk and take a vow of poverty and just chuck it all.

But then I wouldn’t get to play Fallout 3 or watch Lord Of The Rings again on a 50 inch Plasma screen . . .

Enough deliberation for today. On to some stats.

It seems that after a month of straight blogging, I’ve managed to increase my daily visits by about 10 a day.

Keeping up the same trend, I may be able to boast of a whole 100 people dropping by the view my ravings in a single day. That to me is pretty scary, but my purpose of blogging every day is to make sure I’m writing every day no matter what is going on in my life or the world around me, not to see how many readers I can accumulate.

So far it’s working like a charm.

Still, if enough people actually keep coming back here to view what I write - I may have to increase the quality a whole bunch to retain/entertain them.

But that would require me to construct an entire self-agonizing post on its own, and you have endured enough already for one day.

Thank’s for stopping by.

Until tomorrow . . .

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I love you goodbye

Day 30 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Today’s Saturday Scribes prompt is sort of odd. Poetry based, you take something you’ve overheard and stitch it together into a creation - ala Frankenstein or something.

So, the first song on my Media Play list this morning was, “I Love You Goodbye” and so a short fiction piece was born.

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Jack’s wife smiled up at him with love and acceptance, but not peace.

Their first son was born only two hours earlier and the shine of his healthy skin glowed against his mother’s breast. Jack never felt anything like this in his life before.

Love, unbridled, and the deepest sorrow he could have ever imagined feeling on this Earth.

Jack reached out and stroked the silk fine hair on his son’s head for the first and last time. He leaned over and kissed his wife on the forehead, then with tears welling up in his eyes he turned to go with the uniformed men standing at attention on either side of the hospital room door.

Walking out of the hospital felt like wading down a tunnel of knee deep mud, all his muscles seemed to work against each other.

How would Jack feel meeting his son again in thirty two years when his son would be older than Jack was now? What would his son think of his dad, growing up with only his dad’s photograph and newspaper clippings to remind him he had a dad at all?

Two years for Jack aboard the Icarus - thirty two for his son on Earth.

Jack would be a legend forever, a hero in the world’s population, but would never know the joys of raising his son. The one person Jack wanted to love him most of all would likely despise his decision and curse his name for abandoning him at birth.

Only time would tell. The price seemed almost too high. Then again, risk and fame always had a high cost and it was far too late to turn back now. History awaits.

* * *

“All systems, check,” Jack said in his flight suit on the launch pad strapped aboard the Icarus.

“All green across the board,” came the flight control deck response. “Any last words, Jack, before you launch forward in time and make history?”

A moment passed while the whole world listened in.

The click of the transceiver was heard around the Earth and the sound fell upon billions of eager ears.

One inhalation of breath from Jack, then the world waited no longer, “I love you goodbye.”

And with those words riding on a fountain of fire, the people of Earth transitioned into another epoch of technological advancement and wonder, while one man sank into the depths of pain and despair and legend.

Friday, September 26, 2008

one million mpg

Day 29 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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That’s what I want from my automobile.

My car is off lease in a couple years and a bit, and I’m actually looking forward to getting a plug in auto. The Volt.

I hope it doesn’t suck. And what is up with only 40 miles before the gas engine kicks in? - did Exxon design the range?

Couldn’t GM come up with like 100 miles range on just batteries? Is battery tech so lame these days?

Those with laptops could maybe answer that question.

And a wee grouchy today as tennis was cut short by a broken breaker . . . and no lights for the courts last night. Perfect weather, no mosquitoes to speak of and no light after twenty minutes of play. Grrrr.

Oh, well. Bubble tennis starts up next week then things like outside sunshine, weather and temperature become irrelevant.

And I’m playing with the top players on Wednesday night. Already the pro running the night has been asking about me, and not in a good way. Is he ranked? Is he a pro? Who the hell is this guy? Is he any good? We only want “TOP” players, etc, etc.

Nothing like pressure to make me miss tons of shots and appear like an uncoordinepileptiquad (say that six times fast over coffee this morning)

I really hope I don’t suck and make a fool of myself. “Used to be very good”, I don’t think will cut it.

You are sure to get a report about the experience next Thursday..

And can you believe I still do not have two of the three things needed to do my new job - after three weeks?

Oh, you can believe it. Then you must work in a large corporation then.

And is the economy on the verge of collapse, or what? Maybe I should open a soup kitchen and charge 10 cents a bowl. With hundreds of thousands lining up every day I could stand to make a fortune.

Well, the novel doesn’t edit itself - much as I wish it would.

So, I’ll get at it then.

Until tomorrow . . .

Thursday, September 25, 2008

need for speed

Day 28 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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I’ve been holding out for so long on dial-up it’s almost become an institution in my house - a backward, slow, kill you with boredom type institution.

The cost of having dial-up has been both inexpensive - and too dear.

For instance, I can “slowly” get the cool cartoon sites to load and feed my inner Geek. But when it comes to video uploading/downloading - I may as well just give it up.

Two programs I really wish I could have watched - “Dr. Horrible” and “The Guild” are pretty much denied to me for lack of speed. And the hi-speed I have at work blocks all the cool Geek culture stuff out there except Fark and Twitter.

So, what to do, keeping in mind that the only form of hi-speed I think I can get is wireless. I hate wireless. I really don’t want to be right in the middle of satisfying my YouTube Geek self and have the neighbours lawn mower screw me over . . .

. . . Have I ever mentioned how much I hate lawns?

But the time will surely come when I have to buckle under and move to wireless hi-speed. And I’m just as sure that by the time I get it, T1 line speed will be available to everyone and I’ll be back in the same slow boat to China . . .

And don’t even get me started on TV hookup.

But, over the years I must have saved thousands of dollars - but the price has been lose of Geek points along the way for missing some very creative and cool content out there.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have this pesky little novel I need to edit, and progress on it is quite slow.

Until tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

favourite forms

Day 27 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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What do you like to read, and what do you like to write?

For me, reading pleasure comes in the form of novels, pretty much exclusively these days, with a node going to those novels which can come in around 300 pages or less and deliver the goods. Robert Bloch and Roger Zelazney rule (in my mind) in this regard. So, give me Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror please in “short” novel form. I also like reading factual things and am craving, in a big way, Science News Magazine once again.

Maybe the reading elves that sometimes drop by here will take that as a hint and get me a subscription again for Christmas - which is too gosh darn close already. Back off Santa! Put down that bag of toys - I’m not ready yet!

As for the enjoyment of reading short stories - not so much, even though I seem to be able to crank them out at an alarming rate when I set my frontal lobes to the task. I seldom, if ever, pick up and read a collection of short stories even though I write a lot of them.

And poetry? Um, forget it. I don’t really know why, but poetry does about as much for me as a swift kick in the . . . um, well you get the idea. Maybe it requires too much concentration to figure out, or the forms of today are mostly like text messages or something.

Now for writing.

Since I enjoy a good novel most of all, it would reason out that this would be my favourite form of writing - but I do seem to go for the short pieces of fiction over the novel in almost every case . . .

. . . good question though. Anybody who has attempted to write a novel knows how long and arduous a struggle it is. Truly a task worthy of Sisyphus or Hercules or Michael Jackson - but not the run of the mill human being I’m afraid.

I find writing short pieces much easier. I guess Harlan did too.

But I am working on editing my second novel right now and it is going well. I wrote the entire thing during NaNoWriMo 2007 - and was actually pleased with the results. And it is a “short” novel well below 300 pages. Should weigh in about 230 to 260 when all is tallied and done.

And short stories are a heck of a lot more work to market research and pedal for coins. And not too many coins at that.

I think on and dollars per hour payout, novels lick shorts easily.

So there you have it, my thoughts on fiction creation and the forms I like best to read and write.

And I meant no offense to poets - of which I have the greatest respect - it’s just that particular form of communication doesn’t do it for me.

Until tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

missed it by that much

Day 26 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Well, we did pretty darn well for ourselves on the tennis courts last night during our Semi Finals match and only missed advancing to the Finals by a loss of 9.5 points to 7.5 points.

My own match, as well as two others of six, went to tie breakers. We lost our tie breaker by (7-5) after splitting sets 3-6, 6-2.

And yes, I did say to our captain, “Sorry about that, chief.”

Another men’s team went to a tie breaker as well and lost 7-5, 4-6 (7-3) - and so our fate was sealed.

Oh, well. As the saying goes . . .

. . . still would have been sweet to knock out the number one team for a chance at the Championship. Maybe next year.

And did I blink and September is almost over?

Holy Moly, what happened to it? Seems like only yesterday it was hot August on the courts.

Which means I transition next week into Bubble tennis for the winter. First time I’ve played through the winter since . . . er, let’s just say over ten years ago or more.

Looking forward to not losing all my skills over the winter this year and getting more consistent with my strokes.

I find a big part of staying on top of your game is actually playing a lot - and not just match games, but practicing as often as is practical.

Somebody once asked Monica Seles’s coach how she could hit the ball like Monica. The coach told her - go out and hit 45,000 balls on each shot.

Makes perfect sense.

Anyway that is precisely what Monica did. She would get up earlier than the others and fill a ball machine many times over and work on one stroke at a time. After hitting, say the backhand down the line, 45,000 times she got to a level of consistency that bordered on scary good.

Now you know the secret of A league tennis. But do you have the time to put in?

That is the problem at a club level.

Still, much fun to be had at any level of play and it’s great exercise.

Until tomorrow . . .

Monday, September 22, 2008

coconut shuffle

Day 25 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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I know I said I was going to post in the evenings - well, it is the evening somewhere in the world right now, so what I wrote yesterday was not necessarily a lie.

I figured I could do both my editing and blog in the morning if I adjust my daily schedule somewhat.

My workplace does have some flexibility when it comes to work hours, so, I’m just going to start a bit later than normal so I can squeeze in both my editing and blogging in the mornings.

Anyway, who did I think I was kidding. When I get home from work I need to relax, goof off and read a book or watch a show - not tax my brain some more.

And tonight I’ve got semi-finals of tennis to play. We will likely get wiped off the court since we are playing the number one team - however, I will give it my best shot.

We are the underdog so you know you want to root for us.

Freeport - city of pirates and intrigue.

The D&D session went pretty well yesterday. At least I thought it did. The players however, were not sure they actually got anywhere. I find this with a lot of gaming sessions. The DM has the story clearly in mind and knows all, and the players try to pick up the pieces and generally get lost or think they are not getting anywhere.

I’ll say no more for fear or ruining their fun.

So, here is a list of my priorities starting now until NaNoWriMo 2008.

1) Edit my novel
2) Blog every day
3) Tennis
4) Eat healthful food

Sunday, September 21, 2008

musical interlude

Day 24 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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In an attempt to break up the endless “written” blogs in the Marathon . . .

. . . here is a little something I whipped together musically. Now, I’m no Alan Parsons or Edgar Froese, but what I came up with I’m pretty happy with.

Here it is my musical sensation, an instrumental electro retro 80's clone tune:

Trance One (4:15 min long, 2.9 MB)

It was created using the MTV Music Generator claiming that it is the “ultimate music creation made easy” tool. Lofty claim, but it does allow you to slap riffs together quickly and come up with tunes.

You be the judge.

I hope you enjoy it over morning coffee.

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A quick note about posting times.

All posts after today will start appearing in the evenings. This is so that I can concentrate my coffee fueled morning mind on editing my novel and getting it out there.

If I work really hard now, I may be able to squeeze NaNoWriMo in during November after all.

Until tomorrow evening then . . .

Saturday, September 20, 2008

frog boy

Day 23 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Today’s Saturday Scribes fiction prompts are as follows;

Theme: Phenomena
Words: Frog, Battery and Subsequent.

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It happened at the grocery store, but I must begin at the beginning and let the subsequent events unfold to let you be the judge of my sanity.

I don’t usually shop at night on a weekday, but I got behind and found my larder bare. So, off I drove to the local grocery store in the dark and found it quite busy despite the fact.

I collected my usual meal choices, craft dinner, frozen pizza, lunchables, pepperoni sticks, chips and headed to the checkout trying as best I could to find one that would move quickly.

No such luck. I found myself sandwiched between Old Mother Hubbard buying for her family of twenty it seemed, and crazy cat lady stocking up on tins of Cat Chew delight - she probably eats them herself I thought looking at the wiry hairs on her lip resembling whiskers.

Bored, and getting a frozen hand from holding the pizza, I looked around the store. Not much to see usually - just an assortment of chocolate bars and battery packs of all sizes.

And the magazines. Glamour ones promising the ten day plan to lose forty pounds, and the skinny models with too large mouths grinning like Jack-O-Lanterns sporting way to much makeup.

But it was the International Enquirer that attracted my attention then. On the cover was a picture of a slouched over, bulging eyed creature. The Headline: “Incredible Frog Boy On The Loose Again!”

It was the fine print which really caught my eye. Last spotted in Ipswitch, Arkansas - Hey, my very own town.

I chuckled to myself. Frog boy indeed.

That’s when I spotted him, I’m sure. Two aisles down, wearing a hoodie and carrying a case of smoked oysters. It could have been a town punk, but the slouch and the quick glimpse I caught of a bulging eye beneath the hood.

He walked with a kind of hop in his step as well, and I could see no Ipod wires leading to his head so knew the odd step was not from any devices tune.

Fascinated, I kept stealing glances his way, but tried not to be obvious. I was drawn into this mystery now with no way out but down.

Old Mother Hubbard was taking forever to find her debit card, and Frog Boy was already taking cash out to pay for his oysters. Damn, I may have to drop my goods in pursuit.

But, as luck would have it, Frog Boy was counting out copious amounts of change. And was I seeing things, or were his hands webbed? - The vast amount of coins he was counting were likely fished from a local good wish pond I thought, and so I was, in fact, not too far behind him checking out.

When he headed for the front door, oysters under his arm, I was just paying for my goods.

I was not too far behind when I cleared the automatic doors and immediately started looking for him in the lit parking lot. My mistake. He was nowhere to be found under the lights or among the cars.

It was then I heard the crashing of bushes outside the parking lot. I turned but could see nothing. I strode quickly to the edge of the lit lot and peered into the forest which lined the lot.

More snapping sounds farther in. I had a choice to make. He could be rejoining a gang, or it could only be some animal and I had truly missed seeing him in the lot - Or - It could be the Incredible Frog Boy!

I had to be sure and so made my way into the dark woods. If I recalled correctly there was stream not too distant from here as well.

Several minutes later, making as little noise as I could, I heard a big splash. I kid you not! I ran as fast as I could towards the sound, my plastic bags bouncing off bushes and twigs.

By the time I made it to the river’s edge, my grocery bags were in tatters. I was not sure I even had all my goods anymore.

I listened as best I could for the sounds of someone swimming, but could hear only the steady flow of the water and night creatures which were not out of place. Just about to turn around and chide myself for such foolishness, I spotted, not too far distant, a light grey mass.

Hesitantly I walked up to it.

Sure enough, it was a grey hoodie. I picked it up and found it was clammy feeling and damp. Could this be?

Suddenly a splash sounded out on the river and I nearly jumped out of my skin. Terrified I looked out on the water, but all I saw were large waves dissipating in the current.

I made my way back to the lit parking lot and back home. But I’ll always remember that night and wonder.

Was it only my imagination fed by some crazy magazine article, or in fact reality skating on the outskirts of our comprehension and best left undiscovered?

Friday, September 19, 2008

beat your greens

Day 22 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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So I took yesterday (sunny and warm) off from work to do some necessary jobs around the house.

Yard work being one of them.

The one I hate the most. Doing laser eye surgery on myself with a pointer ranks only slightly higher on the “do not want to do” list.

Anyhow, the basement windows, patching and sanding for today’s caulking and painting, were nothing compared to tackling those hideous growths in my yard - bushes and weeds.

Not sure which is the worse of the two. The bushes we have grow like weeds, and the weeds we have are the size of bushes . . .

If it were not for my wife I would just have used the time honored method of land clearing - slash and burn - or better still - nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

However, cooler heads prevailed and we divvied up the tasks of weed/bush management such that the offending plants would survive.

Since one incredibly huge growth of a bush blocks three of our house’s windows, it needed to be dealt with before it became so large and old as to be protected under Canada’s “old growth forest” laws.

Guess I drew the short straw.

So, armed with a hand saw, a pair of work gloves and a desire to do harm, I stood just out of reach of the monstrosity planning my course of attack. Looking at the damn thing I half expected a Forestal or Treant to stride out and declare my presence with sharp objects unwanted . . .

. . . it did not happen outside of my mind.

After many minutes of hacking my way into the thing, I discovered the long buried window which has, for years, never shed any light into my lair downstairs where I game and write. I suppose it was akin to Carter finding Tut’s tomb . . .

. . . well, maybe not that dramatic.

Long story short - it took me a good hour the hack the beast down into bush size again and clear the three windows of the house. It took anther hour to chop the choppings up and put them in compost bags for today’s pickup.

After all that sweating and cutting and cursing, I stood on the lawn . . .

The lawn which is in need of a mow.

Lawns are my second most hated residential menace . . .

So, instead of mowing it like I should have - I headed to the beer store for a case.

What do you expect - I’m Canadian.

And now my lair actually has some light spilling into it - a most unusual thing which is going to take some getting used to.

Oh, and just a head’s up - posts are going to start appearing here in the evenings starting this Monday. My novel editing plan is not functioning as it should.

Until tomorrow then.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

another secret project brews

Day 21 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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What would my life be like if I couldn’t explore my creative urges . . .

. . . stabby?

Fortunately for those around me I can, and do, indulge myself - and to that end I’ve just hatched another “secret project” to satisfy the inner twisted mind cravings I can't avoid.

And great news - this “secret project” does not involve others, or approvals, or help (physical anyhow) so there is nothing much to hinder me with it's completion.

Except maybe some techy stuff and/or scraping together enough time - but these impediments can be taken care if the need is great enough. And I'm feeling that itchy scratchy creative need.

Can you tell I’m excited about this project?

In fact, I am going to get working on it this very moment - which means the blog post today is pretty much getting the truncation treatment.

So, I’m off the feed my own creative fires.

And yes, the second it is completed to my satisfaction it will appear here for your pleasure . . .

. . . at least I hope it will be pleasure, and completed - notice “to my satisfaction” is a key phrase.

That is the plan. It shouldn’t take me more than about a month - crosses fingers at his ‘famous last words’.

So, sometime in the month of October it should grace this blog.

Stay tuned.

Oh, and the little one is muchly better today. Attack of the screwed up respiratory system is over.

And hey, just hit the three weeks in a row mark for posting. Think I’ll have a chocolate chip cookie this morning with my coffee to celebrate.

until tomorrow then . . .

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

lack of oxygen

Short post today as I spent most of last night (way past my bedtime) at the hospital with my daughter.

She had a nasty asthma attack that required more than rest and puffers. It was triggered by a bad, bad nose and lung clogging cold.

Sucks to be her - and millions of others.

And, as a parent, it sucks to watch your little one in so much distress. She is better today, thanks to medications, but anther bad attack hides in the dark like a time bomb - and you don’t know when the detonation timer is set for.

Bond, James Bond can only diffuse so many of them.

So sleepy.

And I have a damn mosquito bite, from a week ago, that still itches and causes me general discomfort.

Toxic mosquitoes - full of toxins. Sucking at my blood.

Can you actually become delirious from lack of sleep ro a toxic mosquito?

Night all - er, I mean good morning.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

best served smokin

Day 19 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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I may be mid-forties, but last night I played tennis like I was twenty again.

Geez if felt good to win our match, but it wasn’t all aces and winners. We actually dropped the first set 6-2 and things were looking grim.

I remember having a quite talk with my inner self before the second set began and I dug deep. I knew I could play tennis so much better than that first set indicated.

And it was then that I began to serve like the Paul of old. One ace and three more great serves later and we were up (first time and finally) in a set at 1-0.

The next game I played even better putting away two volleys and keeping my ground stokes deep and hard. We broke them to lead 2-0.

Something happened in game three. Call it a blip. We lost our serve (not mine) and now we were only up 2-1 with no break.

Now to our opponents credit, they also had some smoking serves and we were quickly back on track at 2-2.

A short while later, after another inner pep talk, I came back out with guns blazing and my serve absolutely RAWKED!. Yah, I’m boasting - but hell it felt good to rocket them in, even the second serve. I hit a couple of forehand volleys like the fist of god as well . . . We were looking in much better form and now in the lead at 3-2.

Next game was another struggle, but we didn’t put away the key points. We did have two break points though, but they slipped away from us. We lost this game but it was evident we were playing much, much better. We were now at at 3-3.

Perhaps the most crucial game of the set was game 7. My partner was serving (not hard serves but in) and I pulled up my socks. I hit a fantastic overhead smash (I missed a cuople in the first set). A few points later and we were poised to win. Another great volley from my partner and we were up 4-3.

Now their best server was up. After a titanic battle (and a very long game) we broke his serve and you could almost see the steam coming out of his ears. We were now up 5-3 on my serve.

Yeah baby - I could feel the adrenalin pumping and the tension on the other side of the court. I reveled in it.

And oh it felt good. My serve did not let me down in the least. Another ace to start, plus four more great spinners (we did lose one point along the way) and we took the set handily 6-3.

Now, it was off to the tie-breaker. It’s what you do in league tennis (our league anyhow) if you split sets.

We had the momentum and my serve just wouldn’t quit. Long story short, we smoked them off the court 7-2 in the tie-breaker. I also hit two of my best shots all night. At the net they volleyed a very hard wide shot to my right. I sprinted over like a fire engine and scooped the ball back down the line for a spectacular winner. They could only look in awe. I was a bit surprised myself, but so pumped I just took it as a shot I knew I could make. One other I recall. A speed ball wide to my forehand volley again which I cut with precision and angled sharply back and out of there reach cross court.

Sweet victory after a shaky start. It felt great. I almost felt like I was twenty years younger. Best set and tie-breaker I've played in years.

And the icing on the evening’s cake - we won our Quarter finals match. It was very close. We tied in points, but won because we had two more games over our competition 53-51. A very hard fought and well deserved win for our team.

Next week it’s on to the semi finals - and the number one team in the league.

There will be lots of inner tennis pep rallies this week I'm sure.

I seem to be getting back in shape and form and am glad now I signed up for winter tennis starting next month so I don’t deteriorate before next summer.

Monday, September 15, 2008

write of way

Day 18 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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I find writing to be the hardest, and at the same time easiest, thing to do in my life.

It is frustrating, but can have moments of satisfaction mixed in with fun and joy.

Nothing is quite as sweet as the acceptance letter, or quite as bitter as the “alas” rejection after you have spent weeks polishing your gem.

I pity those writers who have to write to pay the bills. Yet, without that pressure, and speaking from personal experience, it gets difficult to become motivated.

Art for art’s sake only takes you so far.

There needs to be some inner light guiding you on your writing path. If you don’t feel it, it likely won’t come unless it’s forced.

And forced writing can suck - hard. You’ve all read those novels you know the author was paid to write in two months. It shows.

Essentially we all write for ourselves and from a sense of passion about the art.

I think this is where the best writing - when we take joy in creation and think of yourself as audience. What do you like? What makes you cry, laugh, gag? Be true to yourself and what comes out in your words will ring true. We are not so different from each other despite what governments would have you believe.

Create what comes from inside of you.

And you may find that nobody likes it. Or everybody loves it. Maybe something in between.

You have to make the decision that - it really doesn’t matter. You write because you love it.

Jobs are what you do for money. I sincerely hope writing never becomes my “job”. Ever.

I am so lucky to have the luxury to write at my own speed and not for money. Like Larry Niven.

I don’t know what I would do with outside deadlines banging on my back door while bill collectors are banging on the front. Probably crumble and spew out a lot of crap for cash.

I won’t do it. It’s not fair to myself or those who read my works.

So, if you are a practitioner of this solitary, grueling profession I salute you.

Nothing is harder than baring your soul for the masses.

It is terrifying, and I love it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

sunday waffles

Day 17 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Since I make them every Sunday (yes, grown men can cook), and our family loves them . . .

. . . I thought I would share our best waffle recipe.

I could say it was passed down from great Gramma Darcy, a secret never shared outside the family on pain of death because it is so damn good . . .

. . . or I could tell you the truth - It came with our waffle iron.

Anyhow, here it is and it tastes great!

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Sunday Waffles

Dry Ingredients:

1 Cup flour (we use whole wheat and it works great)
1 Tbsp sugar (white refined)
3 Tsp Baking Powder (white chemical compound)
1 Pinch salt (free flowing table kind, not that course sea stuff)

Mix the dry ingredients with a fork and then stir in the,

Wet ingredients:

1 cup mild (cow is best, but your choice)
3 egg yolks
1 Tbsp Vanilla extract (real is best, fake is okay)
4 Tbsp cooking oil (we use Safflower, don’t use olive)

How to do it:

I hope you kept the egg whites, because you need to beat them into a solid form and stir them into the mixed dry and wet ingredients. Don’t stir them in too much though because you don’t want to liquify them again.

Once all is mixed together, I use the I cup measure I used for the dry ingredients to scoop the mixture into the waffle iron (which must be hot before you start). Don’t overfill the iron (you only need about 3/4 cup or less) or you’ll have waffle goo oozing out of the device which is a waste - and messy.

Enjoy with syrup (just not corn syrup, yuck), fruit and coffee.

Now, go make some because it’s Sunday.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

singularity

Day 16 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Today’s Saturday Scribes prompts include a picture as well as a headline, theme and three words. I chose to stick with only the headline and three words which were;

Headline: “Disillusioned Angel Warns Of Too Much Pressure”

Words: locomotive, curious, temperament.

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As I watch the rocket alight, I have no words for the emotions I’m feeling.

The world is utterly doomed.

It will end on June 25th, 2031 at precisely 5:52:24 AM.

This is not some doomsday soothsayer’s prediction of a natural holocaust, no alien invasion or Skynet launched nukes, but derived from concrete, scientific information based upon repeatable quantifiable experiments and facts.

And I wish it weren’t so.

Saying we had no warning, as the media loves to do, is completely false. We had plenty of time to change, to shut down the experiments but we, driven by our insane curious natures, would not heed the facts until it was too late.

He came to us. Walked right into the top security area of the Large Hadron Collider control room. Some thought he was Jesus, others and angel. Perhaps he was the devil himself. It does not matter. He told us to shut it down, that we would destroy the world if we did not stop.

Naturally we called security, but before he was escorted out he said many things - things you can’t possibly know without PHDs in several various theoretical fields.

He warned us that by smashing together protons at such intense temperature and pressure we would destroy everything that had been or ever would be. This stern warning laced with incredible facts is what eventually lead us to do the experiments and we found that he was right.

We had doomed the world. And we coldly calculated exactly when it would end. Just under ten years and there is not a damn thing we can do about it.

We were only trying to delve into the workings of reality, smashing protons together at near the speed of light. With as much energy as two locomotives meeting head on at three hundred miles per hour, we collided protons and saw the mind of god.

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Critical mass was reached two months before we shut it down. Too late to undo the hundreds of mini black holes that fell to the center of Earth’s solid iron core. On there own, mini black holes do nothing much, but if enough get together at the core - a large enough singularity will form to swallow everything including light.

Already, ten years off, the world’s tectonic plates grind against each other like never before and the diameter of the Earth has shrunk by nearly one half of one percent. The storms are incredible and much of the world’s life already suffers.

The rocket I watch sends a warning to space for others. It will just manage to escape the pull of the singularity we are creating.

If nothing else, we can say that in the end at least we did something unselfish.

I stare into the eye of infinity and find it is a point with no point.

Had we listened in faith to the visitor and taken immediate action, we would have survived.

But we had no faith and only science.

And it doomed us all.

Friday, September 12, 2008

short and sour

Day 15 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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. . . is what today’s post will be.

Actually the day is going to be pretty darn good. I took today off, my daughter will be in school and my wife and I can go out and enjoy a quiet breakfast.

I need a haircut.

The basement windows need sealing and painting.

The lawn “always” needs mowing.

I need to deal with the ubiquitous ants.

The rat cage needs a good scrubbing, not to mention the toilets . . .

. . . but it can all go straight to hell and wait until tomorrow.

Because today I am on vacation.

And yes, even though this post is extremely short . . .

. . . it counts as a post.

Tomorrow I’ll be back with some twisted fiction based off of the Saturday Scribes prompt.

Until then.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

crush you to goo

Day 14 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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We are all doomed. Run, run as fast as you can!

But that will be, of course, useless unless you can run faster than the speed of light - and even then it may not be enough to save you.

The Large Hadron Supercollider (LHD) is online as of yesterday and we are all going to be crushed into something more dense than a neutron star or the current US government . . .

Yes indeed, it would appear that the sky is falling, the true apocalypse is upon us, and the devil is setting up another Walmart in your neighbourhood.

And some people (the same ones denying global climate change?) are predicting that the Large Hadron Supercollider (maybe taking LSD while talking LHD?) will create a miniature black hole, which in turn will crush the Earth into a singularity.

Um, yeah.

We still appear to be here.

At least I do.

The fun part about making fun of this wild prediction of destruction is - If I’m wrong, who is going to be around to say I was?

We will all just be quarks rubbing our spins against each other. Won’t that be cozy? Oh, and it will be very, very dark.

I do find it neat that we would spend around 10 Billion dollars creating this device so we can further our knowledge of reality - even if said reality turns out to be a good bit stranger than fiction.

And before all the bleeding hearts whine about how that money should have been used to help our fellow man in need - I say this was money well spent. Humanity is always suffering and dying anyhow and basic human nature will never change.

Don’t believe me - how about you take a vow of poverty then and move to a third world country to lend a hand for the rest of your life?

No - then STFU you hypocritical jack arse, stuff another pound of meat in your chops, plug your Chinese Ipod into your head and listen to the music you downloaded on your computer from the comfort of your own home . . .

I say let’s smash them protons together at near the speed of light and see what we get. I hope it’s not a mini black hole - but if it is, then so be it. Won’t be the first time in my life I’ve been crushed . . .

And nobody will be around to say “I told you so”.

Fade to black . . .

Um . . . maybe gray today.

Yeah, fade to gray . . .

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

the head shrinking machine

Day 13 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Don’t look now, but I’m pretty sure my little girl is getting older and turning into a junior version of cross between Alyson Hannigan and Felicia Day - well minus the reddish coloured hair. But she is turning out to be equal parts geek, smart, creative and cute as a button with a great sense of humour.

How do I know this?

Well, other than the fact that she is my kid, and my wife is incredibly smart and cute (where do you think my daughter got it from - me? Haa haa. Okay, not so funny - you can stop laughing now. Really . . .)

Ahem.

So, my smart, funny and cute daughter surprised me yesterday and proved that she is going to easily surpass me in just about every department - including the writing one. Makes me proud, but also points out my short falls. Hmmm.

She wrote a very funny short story yesterday - not her first, but her first real attempt I think - and she pulled it off beautifully.

Not to give too much away - because those in the writing group will get the pleasure of hearing her read it to them next reading night - but part of the story has to do with a, wait for it . . .

. . . a head shrinking machine.

Yeah, I laughed too. But it’s not just any old head shrinking machine like the kind you can pick up at your local Walmart - no, in fact it’s an “Incredible” head shrinking machine.

Okay, I may have suggested the use of the word “incredible”, but no sooner did I suggest the word when she had the story rewritten to provide the “Super Incredible Head Shrinking Machine”.

I’m tempted here to have her read the story (pretty short) and then post it her in mp3 form. I’ll see what I can do.

Anyhow, the tale is simply classic, and she isn’t even double digits in age yet. I think at her age I was still trying to figure out how to tie my shoes let alone crafting stories and reading high school level books . . .

And, I wonder where she gets that warped sense of humour from?

So there you have it folks - proof that a second generation Twisted Mind is on the way to pick up where the old man will eventually leave off.

Knowing Aly's dad I can tell you I see where Alyson get's her smart remarks and quirkly humour from . . .

I wonder if Felicia’s dad is a warped writer too - or wether she is a first generational geek writer like myself . . .

Dads and daughters - what would this world do without them?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

squeaking ahead

Day 12 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Well, I managed to win (with my partner, of course) our tennis match last night but it was no massacre. We pulled a 6-1, 4-6 (9-7 tiebreaker) to squeak ahead and win. How the scoring works is if you split sets you play a tiebreaker for the match. Hence the scores and the win.

Not a great showing, but not too bad either. Gives me 7 wins 3 loses for the entire season. I’ll take that. Now we are heading into the quarterfinal next week in third place out of 7 I think.

We were playing under a bubble on clay courts (not my favourite) and about half way through our match it started to rain cats and dogs (not literally). The roar on the plastic bubble was almost deafening and pretty cool. Not good for concentration though - gee, was that where we started to falter?

And Roger makes it 5 in a row. So now he had 5 Wimbledon and 5 US Opens in a row. That’s pretty darn great - maybe the best ever, and he still isn’t done yet. Way to go Rog!

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You can probably tell by the tone today that my mental facilities are under construction. I don’t function the best on six hours of sleep.

So today’s post was all about tennis. I play late again tonight, so tomorrow’s post will be even less coherent.

I wonder how long I can go with only six hours of sleep a night?

365 days?

No, not that again!

Monday, September 08, 2008

ten lost minutes

Day 11 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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I’ve just spent ten Fu*&^$g minutes of my life (on dial-up internet) trying to find out who won the men’s US Open Tennis title this year - and I still don’t know for Cripe’s sake!

Are my Google skills so damn useless? I think not. Why then can’t reporters on websites just state the damn facts and be done with it, and why must Google send me back sites with information about every other frikin US Open Final but 2008 - especially US Open Golf results? I queried the year 2008 and tennis, not goddamn Golf from 1968! Again, did I query frikin GOLF. NO! Jesus H. Cripers Jr.

And the official US Open tennis website is still loading, and probably will be long after I go to bed again tonight.

I know I should make the switch to hi-speed or hi-speed lite or anything but dial-up - but this search was just ridiculous. And I don’t have TV hookup, or I could have just watched the match yesterday . . .

. . . Okay, rant over.

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So, back to writing.

I need a couple of firm goals in this department, or I’m going to wallow about for months getting about as much done as searching the internet on dial-up for the men’s 2008 US Open “Tennis” Champion.

Here is the plan for my novel. Edited and rewritten twice by Jan 2009. After which it will get the final polish and then make the rounds in “want-to-be-published” land in 2009.

Sounds easy.

It’s going to be a female dog - with rabies.

Can you sense my mood?

Note to self - in future do your blog post before attempting any other potentially frustrating task.

And tonight is our last regular season tennis league night. So far we are in third place out of seven teams which is not too shabby. My record so far is 6 wins, 3 losses. Not great, but not the suckage either.

And this weekend I really planned to do a bunch of novel editing, but of course I did not. Instead I read a lot, played Flatout, and did prep for the upcoming D&D Campaign (version 3.5E, not 4E or 3E or 1EB or 2EA or R2D2 versions) which kicks off Sept 21 and is going to be run by me.

Looking forward to it and I bought bunch of minis that I needed for it as well.

One can never have too much gaming swag - ever.

I’m looking at my large, full container of dice . . . they look lonely. Maybe I should pick up some more before the big day . . .

Maybe I can search for them online - Doh!

Where is my blood pressure monitor?

Until the morrow then, when I’ll spew tonight’s tennis results and likely find something else to rant about.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

holes in them

Day 10 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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It’s only been ten days of posting insanity so far, but from that small statistical sample size I’ve come to realize one very important thing . . .

NoNoWriMo is not going to happen for me this year. I’ll still be logged in cheering the troops, I just won’t be cranking out the words and recording them like I did last year.

I know this will likely PO a few folks out there on the intertubes who rely on my robotic output to measure themselves against - BUT - I really need to get last year’s novel edited and rewritten and published.

I have Joe to beat at the first novel published game - and he is getting to damn close. Just for the record I already beat him in the first short story published department and I can’t let him get ahead . . . Sorry, Joe. I’ll still lend you DVD sets, so don’t worry.

So, that is going to be my one ultimate goal for the rest of this year and into next. Oh, that and getting Felicia Day to follow me on Twitter - but that is another story to wait for another day.

I can haz floor chocolate?

Those in the know, know and those that don’t know don’t need to know and can skip it knowing they haven’t missed much . . .

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I’ve also changed the title of this hideous blog experiment to “Marathon of the Dope” so there is absolutely no misunderstandings. My dope days are long gone, er, never were, um . . . Just forget that last sentence - it’s early and my mind is a bit foggy - heck it’s still even dark out and could technically be called last night still . . .

There you have it then. I am a the “Dope” in the title (for attempting to blog 365 days straight)

Fact!

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So, I was out shopping yesterday and managed to spend almost three hundred bucks on clothes.

Yes - Me - on clothes.

For those who know me (and always see me in the same outfits since, like junior high) this will be a shocker. And who said the price of gas it up? - Clothes are the frikin overpriced products from hell. Do you know how much D&D stuff, or books, or computer games, or . . . gasoline I could get for that much cash?

Lots.

And all I bought was three damn shirts for work (okay, I sorta had to since I have some with holes and major frays) and a pair of jeans (old pair has crotch holes) and a new pair of running shoes (all I wear year round and my last pair has - can you guess? - Yup, holes in them).

I brooded yesterday about spending the cash on clothes.

Still, this was my first clothes purchase in, I think, three, or was it, four years. I hate clothes shopping and mowing the lawn and compound fractures about equally - just so you know.

Anyhow, I should be good now until my underwear and armpits and socks start showing through again - say in about three years.

Well, I’m off to Twitter to see if I can say something witty in under 140 characters. Then, I’ll spend the rest of my “day off” doing laundry (yes, men can do laundry for the family - I am in no way diminished by the task) editing my novel and reading a book.

Talk to you again on day 11.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

ghost writing

Day 9 of 365 in the Marathon of Dope . . .

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Well it is Saturday and so it’s fiction prompt day from the Saturday Scribes site.

Today’s prompts are as follows:

Theme: music
Words: elbow, crows, merchant.

I wanted to see just how quickly I could use the words and theme and still make a coherent little snippet of fiction. So here goes.

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“And so, on this very spot in the alley just off the Merchant district, the famous minstrel Gothin met a grisly end before he could reach the ‘Crows Elbow Pub’ where he was to play that night three hundred and seven years ago. It is said that those who possess superior senses can still hear him playing his last concert right here as the sun begins to set.”

The tall man wearing a long black cloak and top hat gestured up the cobbled street. “The bookstore, Harpers, was the site of the pub back then and it’s said that on the exact same night each year, the night of Gothin’s murder, if you stand in the doorway of Harpers and look back down the alley you might see the ghost of Gothin.” The ghost walker paused a moment for effect at let us look around the alley.

“Well, this ends the ghost walk. Thanks for allowing me to be your guide. If you have any questions, please ask.”

A small boy in the crowd piped up, “Do crows really have elbows?”

The ghost walker laughed at the question, but in a kind way. “I suppose they must, under the feathers. Any others?” There were none.

“Well then,” said the ghost walker, “if you will follow me I”ll take you back to the main street.” And with that the procession followed him past Harpers and on to the main thoroughfare.

And I thought, as I trailed behind the others in the alley, that I heard a faint singing and the plucked notes of a stringed instrument.

But with all the noise of modern London these days, I can’t really be sure.

Friday, September 05, 2008

in which I describe my new jog

Day 8 of 365 in the Marathon of Dope . . .

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Yes, I did say jog - and there is a very good reason for it.

Don’t think I’m going to take up jogging or anything. This is just a play on words.

You see, a long while back I had a boss who loved nothing more than jogging. I mean nothing more. Jogging was his life and he never let work interfere with it. Even after being expressly told by powerful upper ups that lunch was to be “one half hour and no more”, he was out jogging the next day for one hour fifteen at lunch time - as always.

Anyhow, at a gathering of cube jockeys, (a business meeting of many departments) this individual was asked to say a few words about our department (of which I am no longer a part) and the first thing out of his mouth was . . .

. . . I love my JOB! - followed by blah, blah, blah de da or some other corporate rubbish which, thankfully, doesn’t’ even make it in one ear to bounce around and make it out the other side. I have a natural immunity to such effects.

Anyhow, it was quickly translated to “I love my JOG!” by me and stuck with us “workers” ever since.

So there you have it. How one’s mans obsession drove my twisted mind to warp his words to fit my world view.

Oh, and about my new “jog” - it is actually much better than I predicted. You are left pretty much to yourself, it’s fairly busy work (making the time pass more quickly) and my supervisor is actually knowledgeable about the work and a nice guy as well.

I know this is hard to believe, but even in the deepest heart of all evil empires there may lurk pools of solitude where decent folk can find a haven.

Don’t let this fool you into thinking I’m not out of there the SECOND I achieve financial sustain-ability - but at least the wait will not be as heinous as my previous “positions”.

And hey, I’ve already passed the one week mark. Piece of . . .

. . . no, I'm not going to say it. I might have to eat it later, and I’m trying to lose weight.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

the art of sleeping in

Day 7 of 365 in the Marathon of Dope . . .

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Now I’m sure most of you think of sleeping in as an accident - I’m telling you it’s an art.

And I’m going to go through several ways you can ensure that you sleep right on past that bothersome morning alarm and miss those important early appointments. And all of this can be done on a budget and without alcohol too.

Follow the five helpful tips below and you are well on your way to skipping those pesky appointments.

1) Make sure you have a “single alarm” alarm clock. No Snooze function as this defeats the “shut off, then ignore” rule. If you have to physically deactivate the alarm make sure it is close at hand. If the alarm shuts off by itself place it across the room. Better yet, have no alarm clock at all.

2) Exercise a lot. Doing long workouts that overextend your body will make sure it screams out for extra sleep the following morning. Best time to do those exercises is right before bed. Make sure you work up a real sweat and go hard at it for at least one hour. If you do this every day, soon your tired, worn out body will not rise on command no matter what you want it to do. This is the “body over mind” principle.

3) Eat tons of high calorie foods. Since you will be exercising every day for at least an hour, sucking down all these extra calories will not turn you into the Goodyear Blimp, so don’t worry about it. It will, however, give your digestive track a lot to work on causing you discomfort and hence sleeplessness. The real trick is to pack in a minimum of two thousand calories or so right after you exercise at night before bed. Try eating a whole bag of cookies or a 2L tub of ice cream per evening - even a family pack of chips will do in a pinch.

4) Never more than six hours. For Gawd’s sake, never, ever - I mean ever - go to bed at a time that will allow you to get more than six hours of sleep. Your stuffed, over exercised body may decide to rise on the alarm or by itself if it thinks it’s getting adequate sleep. This needs to be avoided at all costs. I suggest setting your alarm clock to go off in the evening before bed letting you know when you can safely hit the sack and get less than six hours of sleep. Six hours or less is the key here to avoiding being alarmed by the, um, alarm in the morning.

5) Don’t catch up. No matter what, don’t even think of catching up on the weekend. Book hair appointments, kid’s events, anything to make sure you have to rise early - so you can effectively sleep in and miss them. Follow the first four steps even on Saturday and Sunday morning. It can be a bit tricky on long weekends, but proper scheduling of important events early in the morning, even on those holidays, can insure you oversleep and achieve your goals.

Well, there you have it. Follow the advice above and you can join the ranks of successful over sleepers missing many early morning annoyances, like jobs and school.. But remember, don’t consult a doctor before you try this - he will think you are nuts and want you no a diet. He may even suggest proper amounts of sleep! Avoid doctors! Remember - you are in control of your oversleep habits.

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PB: Yeah, I did sleep in today . . .

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

daze six

Day 6 of 365 in the Marathon of Dope . . .

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I must admit that blogging straight through Day 6 of 365 feels a bit more like day 60, which it is, of course, not.

It could be that I only got 6 hours of sleep last night which does not quite cut it. But hey, customers (you few readers) need content and I did promise.

I will begin today by stating that my writing plan (blog in morning, twitter through the day, then edit my novel at night) is going to work wonderfully for this month - subject to change on a whim or a better plan or sudden cardiac arrest.

Structure here at The Twisted Mind Emporium (the old Engineering mind at work I think) may begin to take shape as the months progress. I’m thinking I may start up some more “Weird Science” articles. I used to do them once a week on Fridays or some such. They were always fun to write and had the added touch of being somewhat useful at teaching science in a fun way.

There may also sneak into the mix an ongoing short fiction action hero. I was thinking along the lines of an animal cracker that was subjected to sewer water and 220 volts turning it into “Cookie Zebra Hero” . . .

. . . or maybe something better I can think up with a much less sleep deprived mind. Superheros do seem to be all the fad now though - or is that like a 90s fashion I am just now catching on to?

I don’t have TV to keep me up to date on these pop culture phenomena, so I do seem to get behind the “cool kid” culture curve rather frequently. I’m not a teen anymore, or a twenty something, or even a thirty something . . . but, I don’t need a walker yet, so I must be eating good enough food and getting my exercise.

Which brings me to Tennis. My joints (hips and knees) were bothering me during last night’s match. I think it’s due to the decades of cubicle life which I have not managed to escape yet.

Which swings me over to the current “New” job. Should be a piece of cake really. In a couple of hours I learned most of what needs doing. It’s just a matter now of applying it.

You may think this will drive me crazy with boredom, however I see this as an opportunity to concentrate more of my grey matter on writing even while pretending to buckle down in the cube. But “shshhh” - let’s keep this a secret between us work dodgers.

Well off again to contemplate the overall colour of the universe, why house flies only have two wings while dragon flies have four, and how come every time I wear a white shirt it immediately gathers mother’s preserves to it?

Until day 7 which will mark 1 of 52 weeks of madness from the mountain.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

high fiver

Day 5 of 365 in the Marathon of Dope . . .

.................................................................................................

. . . and I know this post appears in the morning when I am supposed to be rewriting my 2nd novel. It’s because yesterday I rethought out a bit of my writing plans for the next while.

You see my first draft is completely printed out and needs me to go through it with a pencil and eraser (my method of choice - red pens are just so, so . . . bloody harsh).

So, I’m allotting time in the evening (½ to 1 hour) to sit down and go through my first draft as noted above. That means for the month of September I will be blogging in the morning, editing in the evening then come October I’ll start the actual rewrite . . .

And I must be completely frelling insane.

You see I still retain a full time day job, family, playing tennis year round twice a week, running a D&D Campaign starting this month, Twittering, Blogging, keeping up Reader’s Den with book, movie and TV show reviews, plus housework . . .

. . . yes, completely frelling insane. Which should be interesting for psychologists (if any bother to stop by) as they can observe the rapid mental degeneration of my being in this daily blog.

Or who knows. Maybe this overload of stimulus will do some actual good for my writing? Yeah, my thoughts too. Hello crash and burn.

I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon at our local Carnival going from shady spot to shady spot while keeping an eye on my offspring as she jumped from ride to ride to same ride over and over and over again for four and a half millio . . ., er, hours.

Despite my ray dodging prowess I still got partially lobster red. Lucky for me I have a tennis tan so virgin skin was not exposed to the harsh ultra violet light. That could have ended badly.

I was mistaken for a Carnie worker at the balloon dart booth. No kidding. I'm not sure if that was one of life's cool moments, or downright insulting. I hadn’t shaved for four days and I am in desperate need of a haircut - maybe that was it?

In the evening after the Fair, resting my aching lower extremities, I finished off a 2 litre plastic bottle of some wine cooler we bought for the long weekend. It was overly sweet strawberry pop-flavoured, and before I knew it I had downed the last half a bottle.

It was made with white wine so didn’t really bother me overmuch. Had it been red wine I would have a headache the size of Manhattan this morning, I’m sure.

Well, just so you can get on with your day and not suffer overload, I’ll leave off here.

More to follow on Day 6 . . .

My Gawd - this is going to be a long haul for all concerned, isn’t it. The real experiment here though is whether my readership will dwindle or increase.

Any bets this early on?

Monday, September 01, 2008

come endless posts

I’m going to revise my goal of a post every day for 365 days. Today marks day 4 of 365 in the “Marathon of Dope” for those keeping score at home.

I suppose I should define “Dope”.

Dope, as in I must be one for attempting this feat, and not as in what I’m shooting/snorting/smoking. Just wanted to clarify that point early on.

The revision comes because I realized posting every single day just isn’t likely to happen - but for reasons that will be out of my control. There have been instances where my internet access is, well, inaccessible for a day or more.

It happened before.

It will happen again.

I don’t want to stress out about defaulting on this plan because of some stupid glitch in the system. Is that your black cat?

So, I am still going to “try” and write a post every day for the remaining 361 days - however, in the event of unforseen circumstances where I miss a day . . .

. . . I’ll make it up by posting double or triple as soon as the opportunity arises. So the revision really means you will get 365 posts in 365 days where a small amount of days will be zeros and others will have more than one post.

There.

I feel a lot better now about the plan now.

And just where the hell did this summer go already? I know “technically” it’s still summer, but once I see September on my calendar I always give in to the fact that summer is pretty much over.

This means soon I get to go from mowing the lawn to shoveling the driveway. I don’t like grass or nasty weather.

And speaking of nasty, Gustav is hammering the East Coast of Southern North America right now - for those of you without maps . . .

That just seems unfair to those living there, but it is a known location where this kind of occurrence occurs. Kind of like living on the edge of a volcano. When she blows her top spewing lava about, does anybody really seem surprised?

Okay, going to leave off today before I get into too much trouble.

Oh, and my daily updates here will start showing up in the evening since my early mornings are booked for editing and rewriting my latest novel (Typhoon Rising).

Pondering what I am proposing here my inner geek can only whisper in horror, “My Gawd, what have I done?”