2 Apr
          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?

3 Apr
          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 sounded interesting.
         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 sue!

9 Apr
          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.

10 Apr
          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 about again?
          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....

11 Apr
          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. 

12 Apr
          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.

14 Apr
          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.

19 Apr
          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 biorhythms. 
           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 Conga Rats to Charlie and Karin on their Hugo nominations. I couldn't be happier if I'd been nominated myself. (Yeah, right.)

23 Apr
          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.)

24 Apr
          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 another baby?"
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.

25 Apr
          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.

29 Apr
          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 guy.