Tuesday, June 30, 2009

want some cane sugar

Day 306 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Forty five years ago this day a misanthrope was born.

Instead of a rattle in his little baby fist there was a miniature cane, and he immediately began shaking it at the big people.

He observed the world through rose-coloured glasses, because his parents had put them on him for pictures - they thought it was cute.

The years rolled on and the baby grew into a boy, then a man, then a old grump.

Throughout it all he observed the human condition and found it a terminal patient thriving on misery and the pacification of those not able to defend themselves mentally or physically.

The few glimmers of hope he spied along his journey were always quickly extinguished by the masses of unwell wishers.

It seemed many a time to be a futile existence, swimming in a fouled pool with so many angry sharks.

Half way through this twisted bowel of life, the misanthrope seemed stuck fast, like a hardened cancerous obstruction, causing constipation and pain.

Then, like a flash of stars behind the eyes from a blow on the head, the misanthrope realized that it was not the external world affecting his perceptions but rather the internal world which warped the incoming data to fit his mold, the one he formed with mini-cane in baby fist.

Oh . . .

. . . almost forgot.

Happy Birthday to me . . .

This bit of vitriol must be a direct reaction to the death of Farah Fawcett - she really is one of Charlie’s Angels now . . . - yeah, that must be it.

I’m a fun’n people . . . I’m is a vera happa now . . .

Until tomorrow’s less sarcastic blog post . . .

Monday, June 29, 2009

slow go

Day 305 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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I’ve been cranking away every day on the novel, and it’s still not finished.

I don’t think this is unusual.

In fact I think it’s the norm.

But, it gets sort of frustrating. Still, I’ve not gone crazy on it - like writing ten hours a day or anything - and that has allowed me to continue working on it every day without the gag reflex.

Two more chapters to go and then I’ll be sitting on a completed second draft.

Which will then need editing and a third draft, after which it will need some fresh eyes to look it over and make some suggestions heading for a fourth and final draft and then it’s off for submissions to publishing houses.

It’s a long dark road and I’m sort of stumbling along in the fog, but I know somewhere out of this quagmire there will be sunshine - Oh, and then the next novel, of course.

Until tomorrow . . .

Sunday, June 28, 2009

a farewell to snow in summer

Day 304 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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It’s a hard thing - losing a pet.

Well, yesterday morning around 10, one of our little guys passed away. His name was Snow, and he was a sandy-coloured rat.

Now, before you think “rat” with all its negative connotations, you have to keep in mind that the rats we have (had) as pets are laboratory rats which have been bred for over a hundred years to be gentle and friendly and cute as a button - well except for the tail which you get used to.

I spent the last four days trying to get Snow to take antibiotics (for rats) in his yogourt. He ate some, but most of the time he just wanted to be held.

I sort of knew yesterday morning, when he wouldn’t eat anything at all, that the end was near. A few hours later he died while I was comforting him by petting his hair.

Yes, I cried. Me, the callus brute.

So did my wife and offspring.

He is buried now in our back garden beside Harry (another pet rat, one of our originals) and yesterday was pretty much a sad day.

Well, Fluffy (our last rat) is still alive and kicking and I can see he misses his rat buddy Snow very much already, but we are not getting any more.

Old Fluffy will just have to survive with us as his only friends until it’s his time too.

Well as much as I don’t like snow in summer, I sure wish we could of had more of him this year.

RIP Snow.

Until tomorrow . . .

Saturday, June 27, 2009

a is for allergy

Day 303 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Holy crap - I”m suffering damn allergies this summer like I haven’t in years.

I know they can come and go, but I wish they would just go already.

The night before I was woken up with both barrels plugged, if you follow me. Last night I managed to sleep through but only because I’ve eaten some of that allergy stuff which makes you lethargic and feel a bit like you’re walking through water, even though you’re not.

So, I hope the damn plants cool it soon as I’d like to enjoy some of the summer with my family instead of a Kleenex box.

Until tomorrow . . .

Friday, June 26, 2009

end of school

Day 302 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Today is the last day of school.

Well, not for me of course - that happened decades ago.

No, I meant for my offspring and many other’s offsprings as well.

The only activities that are taking place inside my daughter’s school today? - games.

Games, all day.

Now that’s my kind of school. TSR school for old school, or Wizards school for new school.

And speaking of games (no, I am not turning into a yard sale junkie) we picked up the game of Life for 50 cents - with no missing pieces!

It’s the original version from like 1956 or so (guessing at the date, but it’s early).

We’ve played a couple of times since. I lost each time.

Life - don’t talk to me about life . . .

And why is the end of a novel so much more difficult to re-write than the beginning and middle? Maybe just me?

Well, I best get attending to real Life.

Until tomorrow . . .

Thursday, June 25, 2009

lawn or tennis

Day 301 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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I have a choice this morning of mowing the lawn, or playing a few hours of tennis.

Hmm, a hard decision.

And with Wimbledon on, and all . . .

Let’s see, pushing a mower around the lawn and sweating,

or,

whacking a tennis ball around for three hours and having fun.

Tennis, of course.

But the lawn is getting higher and I use a manual mower now. Once the grass hits a certain height the manual mower doesn’t really work anymore. At that point I need a scythe - which I don’t have.

So tennis seems the fun choice, but the lawn really should be mowed before it reaches the length of now return.

Maybe tennis this morning, then lawn in the afternoon when I’m dead beat?

That sounds like a plan, since I’m fresh out of napalm.

Until tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

never saw it

Day 300 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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This post just screams “We Are Spartans!” - however, since I’ve never seen 300 the movie or read the graphic novel, I can’t be absolutely sure.

Still it’s nice to see the 3 in front of the other two numbers finally in this Marathon.

Way back when I started this lunacy, I did wonder if I could actually do it.

Well, sixty five days from now I can say I did . . .

And it’s rush Wednesday again, so you get the truncated version of yesterday’s thrilling events.

Played tennis last night.

Walked my daughter to school and back.

Made supper, fed the sick rat, went to bed.

I will try to do better on the nonce, oh, and have a more thrilling life as well.

Until tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

rat sick

Day 299 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Well, it always come to this with rats.

Their life span is pretty short, like 2-3 years. Both of our boys are now pushing 1 1/2.

And now, one of ours if quite sick and I’m not even sure if he is going to make it through another week.

He has the dreaded rat lung problem and is losing weight at an alarming rate.

I’m trying my best to get him to eat. I take him out of his home twice a day and give him a nice bowl of yogurt and some water. Bowl one of yogurt is spiked with antibiotics, but he doesn’t seem to notice as it gets licked up pretty quick.

I nursed one rat back to health that way last year. I’m trying this method again with another.

Oh, his name is Snow.

Let’s hope he makes it.

Otherwise Fluffy is going to be lonely in his old age.

Until tomorrow . . .

Monday, June 22, 2009

when will it end

Day 298 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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I’m actually looking forward to NOT having to blog every day.

Hard as that is for you, humble reader, to believe.

I want to do fewer posts, but better posts, and this every day thing is well, you read the results here - every day.

It’s nothing much more than a running stream of drivel letting you know what I’m up to most days - as in a one-way chat line.

Bow. Ring.

So, I was walking the neighbourhood yesterday and I noticed a retro computer for sale. It’s an old 166 Pentium, and well, I got if for ten bucks.

Um, because I need it as a backup for writing, you know, in case . . .

Okay, I maybe snapped it up to play some ancient retro games on.

Sue me.

Still, a working computer for ten bucks? Its even Windows 98. So, yeah, not so retro. I was kind of hoping it would be a 386 or something, but it’s still pretty old.

There now, wasn’t it worth your coming here and finding out all about that?

That faint tinkling noise - it was a pin, wasn’t it.

Until tomorrow . . .

Sunday, June 21, 2009

happy daddy day

Day 297 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Well, it’s Father’s day and my two girls (wife and daughter) are feeling guilty because they didn’t plan anything for me.

So, I’m down here in my lair while they try and cook something up.

Literally.

I think I’m going to get waffles with fruit and whipped cream on them.

Sounds great.

I don’t really need anything. It’s special enough just having such a great kid as I have.

But, if they insist.

Well, who am I to argue.

Happy Father’s Day to all of you men out there who, you know, did the wild thing without protection which lead to something and there you are then . . . a dad . . .

Until tomorrow . . .

Saturday, June 20, 2009

cello in the rain

Day 296 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Today, this morning really, I’m taking the offspring to another cello rehearsal for another concert coming up next week.

And it’s raining pretty hard.

I wonder how they managed this kind of thing in Europe in the 1600's when cars were not around. Horse and carriage I guess. I wonder what kind of cases they had their cello’s protected in for the trip to the master’s house for concert practice?

I know, I could find out but I’m feeling lazy this morning.

And why is it mosquito central in my house today? I feel like they are breeding in here. Either that or the door was left wide open all night with an “all-you-can-eat-buffet” sign blinking in mosquito language out front.

I have four bites and had to squash two of the buggers this morning already.

And I know I sound like a wimp but back where I grew up I could be bitten ten times a minute and not even notice - but around here the mosquito’s are toxic, I swear.

Well, gotta get things packed up for the hike to practice-ville.

Until tomorrow . . .

Friday, June 19, 2009

um okay

Day 295 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Well, the switch was pulled, and, looks like a few things went “poof”.

Like comments.

I tried putting the code back in for Haloscan, but it looks like the new eBlogger isn’t going to play nice.

So, comments are now with eBlogger, which has a few advantages. However, lost are all my archived comments.

Oh, well.

Life goes on with eternal change.

I think I like the new setup better. It is easier to mess around with the formats and stuff.

One more casualty (that I will try to fix) is my ST:TNG novel in 13 chapters went “poof” too.

I just wish the countdown clock gadget would work, but the format doesn’t quite fit the template so I decided against it.

I wanted to countdown my novel completion for November 1st.

Well, more code messing to do and maybe even a new picture of me soon to replace the one that is like, 20 years old.

Until tomorrow . . .

Thursday, June 18, 2009

pulling the switch

Day 294 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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I’ve been toying with the idea of moving to the new and improved version of eBlogger - but so far I’ve not had the courage to pull the switch.

I think I’m afraid of losing all my links and format information if I do.

I mean, it actually says, all your format will be lost, oh, and all my base will belong to them as well.

So, I’ve not done it - yet.

But I’m going to soon.

Maybe I need to save my page format and then push the button down - deal with the fallout afterwards.

Only problem with that is it could take me hours, days or possibly never, to get it sorted again.

Still, if it does work, this blog could be spruced up a bit and I would have access to lots of funky new features currently unavailable in the old version.

So, think I should take the plunge, or remain stuck in the past?

Until tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

3 up 3 hits

Day 293 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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That’s what my little girl did last night during her baseball game.

Good for her.

Good for her confidence too.

She even got a third base hit on one of them sending two runners in to home as well. She may not be big, but she has a pretty good hit.

Yes, they won the game but it was close.

I’m glad she likes playing the game even though it is predominantly and boy’s game at this young age. She is one of only two girls on her team but the boys treat the girls with respect.

Of course, the main motivation is still the treats that come out at the end of the game, win or lose.

Treats.

That reminds me - next week is our turn to bring them.

And yes, short blog today since the Tuesday cello lesson was switched to Wednesday which would be today in about five minutes.

Is this marathon almost over yet?

Until tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

summer off

Day 292 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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It’s less than two weeks away.

I speak of our family vacation - and this year we are all going to be off for 9 weeks together. This will be the first time ever, due to circumstances you have been reading about here.

We are not going on any huge trips.

We don’t have the means.

And, I think we don’t really care. It’s just going to be great to have the family together for the entire time to play games, hang out and do whatever comes to mind on those hot summer days.

I will still be getting up early and doing my writing, so fear not.

Oh, which reminds me - I’ve only got 2 ½ more chapters to work through and I’ll be done my second draft of Typhoon Rising.

I’m still, I think, on target to have it ready to send out for publication by November 2009.

That is the plan.

And I’m going to make it happen.

Until tomorrow . . .

Monday, June 15, 2009

day of the talent

Day 291 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Today my offspring will be playing her cello in front of her entire school.

And she is nervous.

Yes, it’s talent show day at her school. Both her mom and I are proud that she tried out, and got in, but mostly proud she was brave enough to try out in the first place.

I’ve mentioned this before, but she is a good little cellist. She’s been playing now for 7 years.

She has done maybe 50 concerts already, with other kids playing usually though some solo concerts as well, but today she is going to be judged by her classmates and peers. A different story. I feel for her.

Both mom and dad will be at the performance though, which, now that I think about it, may actually make her even more nervous.

Here’s wishing her good luck.

Until tomorrow . . .

Sunday, June 14, 2009

metal mesh filter

Day 290 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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I bought one of those fine metal mesh coffee filters a long while ago and just recently found it again among a lot of clutter in one of our kitchen drawers.

So, I decided to give it another go this morning.

And it works, but it takes about six times longer for the coffee to drip through it than using a regular paper filter and cone device.

The coffee tastes just as good though so I may, since I have time now anyhow, start to use it every morning. It will save a little bit of paper and plastic over the long haul.

Not that I’m exactly hug-a-tree rabid fanatic for preserving all things environment.

And a good friend of mine said to me long ago, that if humans are indigenous then what we get up to is a natural part of this planet’s evolution. So, if we use resources like mad, detonate nuclear devices and generally screw the place over - well, it’s natural.

Okay, you don’t buy it, but it does make a kind of Zenian sense to me. Anyhow, I’ll do what I think it right, you do what you think is right and if we don’t exchange gunfire, well, then we are doing okay to preserve the peace.

Until tomorrow . . .

Saturday, June 13, 2009

crazy hat day

Day 289 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Today we have a tennis tournament, and during this tournament you have to be wearing a crazy hat.

So, last night, my wife and I went out (she is in the tourney too) hunting for outrageous headgear.

I found a beany pirate, cap and my wife found a pink cowboy hat with feathery frills around the edges, the kind Dolly may have worn on stage in Nashville.

The trick of this tournament is to play without you hat falling off. If your hat falls off during a point, you lose the point.

And we have, so far, 26 people signed up to participate.

It should be good fun.

And good laughs.

I can’t wait to see what some of our members come up with.

Until tomorrow . . .

Friday, June 12, 2009

the problem with blogs

Day 288 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Besides boring the urine out of most people, personal blogs can have one serious problem in my estimation.

You see, at least for me, those close to me read it. How can this be a problem, you say?

Well, everything you write gets scrutinized wether you wrote it as a joke or a genuine feeling, so, you are constantly self-editing everything you put down in the blog, and hence it turns out to be a watered-down, pale version of what you would likely write if nobody you knew was reading it.

Then again, if you wrote a personal blog only for those that didn’t know you, after a good length of time they would - and the judging, misreading, or spam comments, would begin anew.

I guess in a small way I’m trying to justify why this here blog has deteriorated into the complete banal, boring and repetitive drivel you see before you.

The misreading of content is just too much for me to have to explain every time.

So, unfortunately this blog will remain completely censored, and hence, not nearly as exciting as if it weren’t.

Not that reading it is a complete waste, just the next best thing to it.

How’s that for reverse advertising?

Until tomorrow . . .

Thursday, June 11, 2009

retiree tennis

Day 287 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Um, since I am ‘officially’ retired now from the cubicle life, though I am actively writing every day, I’m playing Thursday morning retiree tennis.

And yes, I am the youngest. There are a few in their mid-fifties, but none of my age.

So, they have all pretty much asked me, for the past several weeks - how can you be retired, you are way too young?

I tell them I’m a casualty of GM, and they give me the look, like poor-fellow-we-have-pity-on-you look. Then I tell them I’m writing, and they give me the other look, the you-will-need-to-go-back-to-work-soon look.

I’m quickly finding out that only writers understand the life of other writers. Common working folk, or retired folk, just don’t get it, do they.

It’s funny how much negative passive pressure is applied to any lifestyle or job which doesn’t fit the acceptable mold for Western society. What a bunch of pitiful sheep our society has turned into.

Still, I persist in writing every day and attitudes-of-others be damned. I wonder if most of the scorn comes from jealousy, or a realization that they would never take the risk of losing their lifelines to pursue something other than a mind-numbing day job?

Whatever the reason, most people I tell now st get the the GM-casualty-thing. It’s just not worth my trying to explain to them about the writing and getting that other look.

Until tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

da big chill

Day 286 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Was playing tennis last night, in the middle of June (well, almost) and I could swear it was about to snow at any moment.

I had to play with track pants and a sweater on.

Which, if you play tennis, you know is a bit of a challenge having all that extra clothing on.

It was either that or freeze to death on the courts.

Now, I’m not really complaining (yes, I won the court again) it’s just that my expectations of June weather are not close to freezing but somewhere around the comfort zone.

It may have helped if I hadn’t already spent two hours sitting in a lawn chair before the tennis watching my daughter’s baseball game in an open field with Arctic winds blowing on the back of my head.

I say may, which means no guarantee.

Oh. My. God.

I’m blogging about the weather . . .

What is this red dot on my shirt.

It looks like a laser sight.

Until tomor—

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

around my brain in 80 days

Day 285 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Guess I’ve been doing this little persistent blog-thing for 285 days straight now.

Holy!

Which means I only have 80 days left - what to do on this balloon ride for the less-than-three-months remaining.

Weather?

Sports?

Um, yeah.

So, we had a thunder boomer about three in the morning last night and it woke me up for a while. Clover loves rain showers mixed with nitrogen split out of the air by bolts of lightening - and Momma’s little baby also loves shortening bread . . .

And I’m hoping Federer will clinch the French Open title today and tie Sampras for most Grand Slam titles in tennis. And very few champions have ever won all the Grand Slams. If Federer wins today he will be in a very elite group of tennis players indeed.

He deserves it, but his opponent will not go down easy - but he will go down.

There, I’ve covered the weather and sports - now a new’s headline. How about North Korea and their silly grade school behaviour?

Nah, too boring.

GM is bankrupt.

Equally boring.

So, I’ll just move along then and let you get to your browsing.

Until tomorrow . . .

Monday, June 08, 2009

fallout revisited

Day 284 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Well, after patching Fallout 3 to the latest version (1.5), I decided to give it another go.

This truly is one of the top ten games in my collection without question. It has everything I like about computer games all rolled up into one.

It has exploration coupled with danger. It has quests which can be completed in many different ways depending on your own personal disposition. It allows you to play at your own pace so you don’t have to run around like a lunatic, if you don’t want to.

It gives you the ability to play a saintly character or you can choose to be the A-hole of the universe with rewards and punishments for either path.

I find that this latest installment of post-apocalyptic fun has retained all the fun and flavour of the original Fallout, only this time instead of a pixelly overhead 3d oblique view - you are THERE! - if you have the system and video card that is.

So when the fighting gets tough, and that radscorpion is bearing down on your sorry butt ready to make you its next meal, the feeling of panic really does start to rise - as much as it can in a computer game.

And now huge expansions are on the way. Holy crap, batman, I have played many an hour and have not even come close to completing the original game as it is.

What more is there to say?

If you have the means, you must play this computer game.

Just saying.

Until tomorrow . . .

Sunday, June 07, 2009

4 or 5

Day 283 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Not sure what height to build the new fence.

If the new fence if too low then hoodlums can easily jump it and I could have to be screaming at kids to ‘get off my lawn’ while I wave my cane.

So, I’m thinking 5 feet instead of 4 feet. But, my neighbours fence is four feet even at the back and he doesn’t seem to get a lot of fence jumpers.

So, in the essence of economy (yes it is cheaper) and having more post in the ground I’m thinking 4 foot fence.

I still have a few days to mull it over before I make the purchase.

And, interestingly enough, every one of the spikes (from the old fence) except one was actually broken off. Seems that after five or six years the welds give way on those spikes and ‘snap’ you have a fence just sitting in a bracket sitting on the ground.

Pretty crappy design if you ask me. Why make a fence spike so crappy that it snaps off after a few years?

Oh, I forgot, we are in a retarded disposable consumer culture where everything is designed to crap out after a very short time so people will have no choice but to toss the old one into landfill and rush out to buy buy buy buy another . . .

But I rant.

Anyhow, 4 feet it is. And I’m going to cement in the posts. No more spikes or just driving the posts into the ground.

And any kids hopping the fence will have to deal with dandelions and vicious rabbits (bringing in the Monte Python breed) if they do - oh, and a good yelling if I catch them.

Until tomorrow . . .

Saturday, June 06, 2009

and the walls came down

Day 282 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Today will see one of my creations unmade.

The old fence in the backyard, the one bent and abused by the winds, is getting uprooted and dismantled.

But it’s not going to be scrapped. All the pressure treated wood will be turned into above ground gardens - and hence less grass to mow.

It stood the test of time though really. I mean, it’s been standing for seven years; it’s six feet tall, solid and built on spikes. Not too shabby to have it still there, albeit propped up, after at least three windstorms with winds in excess of 80 km per hour.

Still, it has served it purpose and now must transform - into chain link. I’m wondering if I should make it a 5 foot high or 4 foot high chain link fence in its place.

Anyway, I went to HD, the jumbo builder’s store, and they had this convenient work sheet that lists all the things you need to put up a chain link fence plus complete instructions too. This sheet is exactly what I need since I’ve never put one up before. It doesn’t look too hard, and I will have help from my good friend to do it so, how hard can it be?

I’m a bit sad to have to tear the old one down, but all molecules will eventually become rearranged in the end . . .

Until tomorrow . . .

Friday, June 05, 2009

keeping track

Day 281 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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I was asked at a party by a Sculpturer how I keep motivated to work at my writing projects every day.

Well, the answer, for me, was simple.

I keep a chart, which hangs on my wall beside my writing space, to keep track of each day’s writing activities.

Every date (including weekends and holidays) is represented on my chart right through until November this year. Across from each date are four boxes representing 30 minute slots of time.

As my writing stamina increases, or I get a writing contract for a novel, I will add in more boxes.

So, the plan each day is to fill in each 30 minute box until all four are filled in. It’s a simple graphic representation of my writing time, and it seems to work pretty well at making me do my writing each day.

There are excepts to filling in all four boxes, of course. Holidays, weekends and family illness can negate up to two blocks of writing time. When this happens I just put in a symbol representing what was up for that day.

I can, at a glance, look down my chart and see who was home sick, or when the weekends fell, etc.

Seems to work for me.

But as there are millions of writers out there I bet there are likely millions of ways to keep going on your writing too.

All I can say is try many different methods until you find one which works for you.

Until tomorrow . . .

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Azathoth burns again

Day 280 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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The last go around in Arkham saw our intrepid investigators going up against that burning world-devourer - Azathoth.

The doom track is pretty long with this old one, but once your time is up, well, let’s just say wearing shades isn’t going to help you much.

Try as we might, there was just no way to close all the gates in time. We were one step away from seeing the Dunwich horror enter play and we already had to deal with one swirling monster-spewing vortex unleashed from Kingsport.

Oh, and the rumour card we had to deal with, sacrificing about 80 percent of our magic and mundane items, pretty much sealed out doom.

So, overall, it was another great game!

And did I hear correctly that another expansion, Innsmouth, is coming out soon and will add yet another partial board? I mean, the size of all the expansions already threatens huge tables. With Innsmouth, well, looks like the floor will be the only way to play them all. I guess the idea is to not use all the expansions for future games - but what is the fun in that?

I think it would be nice for FF to just come out with a card only expansion playable with any configuration. I guess those would be mini-expansions, of which there are already three.

Still, this is an excellent game to spend time playing with friends.

Get it.

Play it.

Be devoured.

Until tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

ultimate carnage

Day 279 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Of what do I speak?

Another computer game, of course.

Doesn’t every computer geek love to play car racing games once in while? Well, I do, and my choice has always been the Flatout series when I need some car racing action.

I loved, still own and sometimes play, the original Flatout. It’s just plain fun to get into amazing wrecks and watch parts, and bodies, fly. I recall, back in my childhood days, a game I used to have called ‘Smash Up Derby’. It was a game where you had two wind up cars with about twenty parts that would fly off of them when you crashed them together.

Um, yeah, it was a blast, when you were ten.

Well, Flatout is the computer version of this old game I used to love.

Ultimate Carnage, the latest PC version of the Flatout series, started its life as a console game (which I do not play, PC only thank you) and really looks like it. It’s not quite as good as the original since the cars are smaller on screen and the car models, though okay, take a lot more hits before things fall off or body panels deform.

Not quite as satisfying as the old game. And in Carnage you can get away with totally outrageous wall crashing stunts, like hitting a rock cut at 90 miles per hour and not getting ejected from your car. In the original you had to watch what you were doing or find yourself flying through the air.

And cars will literally blow up in Carnage, where they never used to in the original Flatout. This is a bit too Hollywood for my liking.

Still, if you want a good crash up destruction racing game, the Flatout series is hard to beat.

If you want more realism, though still console silliness, try Grid.

Until tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

bad fence good fence

Day 278 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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So I thought I was the spike fence guru after building one almost 200 feet long - which by the way is still standing and looking good.

What went wrong with the one at our new house?

Um, don’t build a solid 6 foot high fence on spikes if you live in Hurricane Alley. THe last one was staggered slats and 5 feet which works well.

That about explains it my troubles, no?

Anyhow, I am planning to tear it down and put up a 4 or 5 foot chain-link fence which is much better at withstanding the gale force breezes that blow through our yard what seems like every other damn day.

I’ve not done chain-link before so have no idea how much of a pain it is to install. What I will do though is make sure the support beams are at least 4 feet (or deeper) into the ground. Let the winds suck (or blow) on that kind of anchorage!

And yes, it is Tuesday again - day of the rush - day of the should-have-written-a-blog-yesterday day and posted ahead of time.

Will I ever learn?

Probably not.

Until tomorrow . . .

Monday, June 01, 2009

month in review

Day 277 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

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Well, I thought I would actually get the previous month in review done on the first of the month instead of forgetting it until later or altogether.

So, with regards to writing every day.

If you count this blog, that would be a yes. If not, then no. But this no means that 2 days in May I did not work on my novel. Not too bad, I think.

For June I’m planning on working on it every single day without fail. We shall see July first how that played out.

I’m currently struggling through the rewrites of chapter 10. What has happened is that during the creation of the first draft the back end of the novel got kind of rushed and summarized like. So, this second draft is a combination of first draft (filling in rushed or truncated sections) and second draft - rewriting what was already there - and this takes more time.

I’m still hoping to have a finished product by September or October so I can shop it around and get working on my next novel. If possible, I would like to be able to have one novel written and then shopped around per year.

As far as book reading goes, I’ve blown past the 5,000 page mark weeks ago and the year is not even half over yet so my target of a minimum of 10,000 pages will be easily met - unless I just stop reading, which is not going to happen.

So, as far as a month goes - not a bad one for my goals.

And, totally unrelated but on my mind, watch the news about 8:00 AM this morning ro anytime thereafter. A big company is filing for chapter 11 today, a big company that was run by arrogant twits for decades.

Twits that could not read the writing on the barn wall in sixty foot neon letters for the past twenty years or so.

Until tomorrow . . .