Have you ever seen something out of the corner of your eye that on closer
examination just wasn't there? I drive by this mini-mart every day to work,
and I could have swore I saw a sign out front advertising an occultist
shop. But when I looked again there was nothing of the sort. A grocers
and a barber shop, but no occultist. Or the guy in leathers, flaming sword
in hand, astride a black charger that turns out to be a mailbox and a park
bench when I turn to verify what I thought I saw. Or maybe it's just me.
There's a whole lot
I'd like to rant and rave about right now, but I won't. I think I embarrassed
myself enough last night at the DROWWZOO. For those of you that don't know
what that is, or who weren't there...Me? Embarrass myself? What kind of
cheap drugs are you on, anyway?
And sometimes it's just dyslexia. I passed a sign today that I could have
sworn read Our Lady of the Rose Cadillac Church. It was actually Our Lady
of the Rosary Catholic Church, which is too bad because that first one
And how's this for coincidence. They've just introduced a new character
on the TV series, ED, named Jamie Decker. The protag in my novel DARKSIDE
is named James Decker, and I just mentioned a few days ago about how his
mom calls him Jamie. If this guy dies and comes back as an Eternal, I'll
I came across an article by a prison author the other day. In it he describes
a typical day in his life. Up in the morning, weight training, back to
his cell where he did research and worked on his latest novel, yard work,
some TV and then bedtime. I couldn't help thinking: Hey, that sounds like
my day off! All you authors who can't afford to write, or don't have the
time--Prison awaits. Heck, you even get regular sex. (Whether you want
it or not.)
Anway, I got a yellow rejection letter from Realms of Fantasy. Marsha tells
me that's a good thing. Not as good as an acceptance mind you, but it was
rather nice as form letters go. So what the heck, I sent it off to Black
Gate. (The story, not the rejection letter.) Their response time is 3-5
months, so I can relax and forget about it--which is exactly what Black
Gate will probably do, come to think of it.
Oh yeah, Pen bought me this itty-bitty little deodorant stick for when
I go out in the field. It's really cool--just 57 swipes and I'm good for
the whole day.
I was making myself some noodles last night, setting the table, and looking
for my chopsticks, when all of a sudden I realised, "Hey, I'm not Chinese!"
I mean what's with the chopsticks? Sure, it's cool if you're out with the
wife at a fancy restaurant and you want to impress the rubes that you can
actually manage to eat by picking up your food with a couple of sticks.
(Although sticks may be a misnomer, because a lot of the places use plastic
now. And by the way, you don't always have to do the pincer movement thingie--I
find spearing works quite well. And while it may be cheating, a Chinese
friend showed me that one, so sue me.)
The Chinese are always all: "We had a burgeoning civilisation thousands
of years ago, while you round-eyes were still living in caves." And to
that I say, "Big deal." If they were so civilised and all, you'd think
that after a few thousand years they could manage to invent the fork like
everyone else. And another thing.... er.... what the hell was I talking
Oh, yeah. I think I'm going to have to stop going to the gym. They put
up new signs saying: Please Replace Weights After Use. I mean, hell, I
can't afford that.
No wait, that's not it....
Pen sold someone a $14,000 diamond ring yesterday, which makes me happy
because she gets a big chunk of commission off the sale, and pisses me
off because no one should be able to afford that kind of money for a ring.
Fourteen grand would pay to send Chantel to university for a year,
make a nice down payment on a house, or buy me a brand new motorcycle complete
with full leathers and helmets. There are people who don't make that kind
of money in a year, and this bozo carries it around as chump change. The
creep's probably a lawyer to boot. Apparently he bought it for his wife
because he "screwed up." That's a lot of forgiveness.
I read an article today by some accounting geek making fun of all us hayseeds
for playing the lottery. Seems the odds of winning are eleventy-four million
to one. Yeah? Tell that to the guy that just won thirty million. All I'm
sure of is that the odds of winning if you don't play are at least eleventy-four
million to two, and I like those odds even less.
I'm no mathematician (heck, I couldn't even spell it without a spell checker)
but the way I see things, my odds are fifty-fifty. Either I'll win, or
I won't. And I apply that same dazzling logic to my writing. As long as
I keep submitting, my odds of getting published are better than if I just
leave my stories taking up space on the hard drive. And each submission
has a fifty-fifty chance.
Who says I'm not a glass half full kind of guy. Oh, you're the one. So
what, no one listens to you anyway. :-p
And conga rats to Marsha for getting into Clarion! Just hold onto the rope
and stay with the rest of the group, and you'll do just fine, Marshy.
Work is pretty lax right now, and I'm taking full advantage of it. Pretty
soon everything is going to gear up again, and then there's no rest for
the wicked; namely, me. So I spend my mornings at the gym: an hour or so
of weight training and then a good 45-minute run. Most afternoons we go
hiking. A good two-hour hike and a chance to chat. What kind of stuff do
we chat about, you may ask? Favourite chocolate chip cookie recipes, the
latest fashion trends--you know, guy stuff.
In November, Pen worked hard and saved all her pennies to buy me a Sony
Clie Organiser. At $450 dollars they don't come cheap. I can only justify
the cost by saying that as a Basic Recruit Instructor for the Canadian
Forces, it proved an invaluable tool in keeping track of the myriad schedules,
tasks and bits of information necessary to facilitate training. My colleges
were so impressed by its uses that one of them actually went out and bought
the very same model. The Division Commander is even now looking at the
feasibility of equipping all the Section Commanders with electronic organizers.
In my usual spate of bad luck, I managed to slam my Clie in the car door,
cracking the glass on the LCD screen and denting the frame. I should have
known better, but I sent it off to see what it would cost to repair it.
I got a call from Sony about a week later--they said they would have to
replace the LCD screen at a cost of $451. Yeah, right. To make matters
worse, even though I only bought my Clie new in November, it seems that
it's already a discontinued model. I could actually buy a better one with
a built in MP3 player for $460. Of course I decided not to repair it, and
told them to return it to me. It took them about two weeks, and if not
for the fact that Pen is friends with Sony dealer in the mall where she
works, I learned that normally they would have charged me a $60 shipping
and handling fee.
Now, here's the really sickening part. When I'm not an BRT Instructor,
I'm an Avionics Technician (among other things). That's right, I'm an electronics
tech, and figured what the heck do I have to loose? I cracked the case
and removed the broken glass. The LCD screen itself was intact. The glass
has a circuit path glued to the outer edges of it, and a ribbon cable connected
in turn to the glass. It's this circuit path that enables the touch screen
functionality of the LCD screen. The glass and foil circuit probably costs
at the most $5-10$--and I believe my estimate is severely inflated.
Anyway, I cleaned the screen off and replaced the cover. Had I the part,
I could have repaired my Clie in about 15 minutes from the time I opened
the case until the time I closed it up again. (Interestingly enough, I
searched the web and couldn't find anywhere that listed the parts, never
mind sold them.) The Clie is only semi-functional now. I can still use
it to read novels, call up my phone lists, lesson plans--heck, even my
Eventually I will buy another organizer, but with that kind of service
support, odds are it won't be a Sony. And I certainly wouldn't recommend
them to anyone else. And it's doubtful that Sony will give a damn.
And finally, big fat
Rats to Charlie
on their Hugo
nominations. I couldn't be happier if I'd been nominated myself. (Yeah,
There's a reason they put the window right over the kitchen sink. Why wash
the dirty dishes when there's such a convenient method of disposal at your
service? Hey, it works for me. Now if I could just convince Pen.
When I got to work this morning I walked into the office, and there was
the Chief, the Warrant, two Petty Officers, a Master Seaman, and a Master
Bombadier, all waiting for me.
The Warrant looks at me and says, "We're here for an intervention."
The P.O. nods and adds, "Yep, we're going to break you off Diet Pepsi."
I looked around and calmly replied, "You'd better get more guys," to which
the Chief answered, "This is only the first shift."
These guys have way too much time on their hands. And besides, everyone
knows Diet Pepsi is the Breakfast of Champions.
And for the record, my birthday was Sunday. All of you miscreants that
missed it, it's too late to snivel now. (You know who you are.) I wouldn't
worry though; I'm so old I'm sure I'll forget all about it in a day
or so. (So if you know who you are, please email me and let me know.)
We were sitting down to dinner at Moxies on Sunday, when Pen looks across
the table at me and innocently says: "Do you think I'm too old to have
Now, there are two
lessons to be learned here. One is that there's nothing like a good scare
to get rid of the hiccups, and the other is don't mess with Pen. She's
evil, I tell ya. Evil.
Let me put a commonly perpetrated myth to rest. Contrary to the movie,
BULLET PROOF MONK, or any of the DORSAI novels by Gordon R. Dickson, just
because you really, really believe something, that doesn't make
it possible. Lots of insane people and acid trippers genuinely believe
they can fly, yet there are millions of sidewalk stains that prove otherwise.
Drunks believe they are funny, sexy, and tough. (If you've ever been abandoned
at a party, slapped by a beautiful woman, or beaten to a pulp by a six-foot-four
bouncer, you'll know what I'm talking about.) And Maria Carey believes
she can act. I rest my case.
One of the guys at work keeps trying to talk me into competing in the ironman
challenge. Let's face it; at my age the iron is a tad rusty. I mean, you
have to run...um...really far, swim even farther, and then bike the rest
of the way. And the worst part is British Columbia has a stupid bike helmet
law. How un-cool is that? Besides, I doubt if my bike would cut it anyway.
Maybe if I replaced the banana seat, took the streamers off the handle
bars, removed the cards from the spokes, and got rid of that little pink
basket on the front. Nah.
So I mailed DARKSIDE off to Meisha Merlin, and JOY RIDE to On
Spec. What the heck, I guess I'm just a glass half missing kind of