3 Jan: Life Lessons

 The following is a list of life's lessons that have proven true for me over the last forty-five years. You're mileage may vary:

 

1. Learn from the past, live in the present, plan for the future. Rearranging any one of those verbs is generally a mistake.

 

2. Good people don't always get what they deserve. The same goes for bad people.

 

3. You can get ahead through hard work, determination, and talent, but success is more likely if you know someone.

 

4. There really are more fish in the sea--most often better, tastier fish.

 

5. If nobody likes you, it's probably your fault. Either that or you're hanging with the wrong crowd.

 

6. Forgiving is a lot easier if you forget. Selective memory has its advantages.

 

7. We create our own reality, but most of us can't find our user's manual.

 

8. The world is not fair. Act accordingly.

 

9. There is such a thing as luck. Some people are luckier than others are. To date I haven't found any thing that tips the balance either way. (Cause and effect not withstanding.)

 

10. All men are not created equal. Just ask the women. Or the rich.

 

11. People lie. Constantly.

 

12. Your government does not have your best interests at heart. It's only looking out for itself. If your Government had a personality profile, it would be a sociopath. The same goes for any large corporation.

 

13. The minute you decide to do something to make a positive change in your life, the world will conspire against you to prevent you from doing so.

 

14. Everyone thinks that they can do it better, and will offer criticism despite an obvious lack of credentials or ability.

 

15. Sometimes your best just isn't good enough. Failure is a part of life. It's how you deal with it that shows what you're made of.

 

16. The world wants to categorize you, mostly to make it easier to sell you stuff or ideology. Don't let it. Very few people fit neatly into any one category.

 

17. Enjoy being you. Wear what you like. Like what you like.

 

18. Don't be different for difference sake. Being different is not the goal; being yourself is.

 

19. The world is full of arbitrary rules. (Don't wear white after Labor Day??) Ignore them at your leisure. After all, who made them the purveyor of all that is good/right/fashionable in this world?

 

20. Let others enjoy being themselves. After all, who made you the purveyor of all that is good/right/fashionable in this world?

 

21. One person can make a difference, but usually only with a lot of people helping.

 

22. Don't worry about leaving your mark on the world. Nicola Tesla was one of the greatest minds the world has ever known, and few people know who he is. Who invented the transistor? Who is Mary Pickford? There are ancient kings who had great monuments erected in their honor, and now no one knows their name. Live, love and laugh as if that were all that matters, because it is.

5 Jan

          I've been pretty good this past week. I've written a bit every day--not as much as I'd like, but it's a start. And I just mailed off a query, and submitted Darkside to the slush at Tor. That's right, who cares what the agents think? It's time to be rejected by the guys that pay!
          Also, I've been watching what I eat. No chocolate (no, really!) or junk food, and no food after 7 PM--well, except for the occasional apple. And I've been easing my way back into the exercise thing.
          So, seeing as I've been so good lately, can I retire now?

10 Jan: There's no intelligent life down here.

          I should not run first thing in the morning.
          I got up at o'dark thirty this morning for my run, made it to the basement and fired up the treadmill. A few minutes into the run my mouth started to dry out something fierce. Usually I chew gum when I run (yeah, I know I'm tempting fate, but bear with me) but I'd forgotten it. I didn't want to stop my run and go upstairs to find some gum or get some water, but my throat was getting so dry that I felt like I was choking.
          So I picked up this screw lying next to the treadmill and popped it in my mouth. (Oh, relax!) It's an old desert survival trick, and it worked, to a point. I produced enough saliva that I could swallow occasionally (no, not the screw) and I managed to finish my run without major interruption.
          So, I'm done the run, and I get down into the push up position to, you know, do push ups, and I look up and see, not three feet in front of me, our little pantry--with three cases of bottled water, two cases of Gatorade...
          I'm telling, you, I shouldn't even be allowed to walk and chew gum at the same time.

12 Jan

          I really envy most women's ability to be totally oblivious to matters that don't directly concern them. For instance:
          I run first thing in the morning, after which I shower and go to work. The tricky part is in allowing enough time for cool down after the run. There's nothing worse than getting into the shower while you're still sweating. I mean, what's the point? You finish, dry off, and sweat some more.
          So, in order to try and bring my body temp down to an acceptable level that I can effectively shower before going to work, I shower with the bathroom door open, and crack open the bathroom window. The cold air from outside circulates through the room and keeps the temp down, and by the time I step out of the shower it's cool enough that I'm still not sweaty afterwards. Seems like a simple solution, right? After all, Pen's still upstairs sleeping, and there's no one else in the house, so who am I bothering?
          Problem is, every time, without fail, Pen gets up while I'm in the shower to get a drink or microwave the heating pad she sleeps with, closes the bathroom door, and cranks the heat up so the place will be warm when she gets up later.
          Now she doesn't do it out of spite or anything; it just doesn't occur to her that I might have left the bathroom door open for a reason.
          Oh yeah, I wrote some more, too, on the heroic fantasy thingy. Go me.
So apparently the Montreal Police sent 50 squad cars and a S.W.A.T. Team (maybe the members of the S.W.A.T. team all arrived in separate cars, and not in that neat truck like the Americans do) to the university because someone spotted a guy wearing a camouflage T-shirt (the degenerate) and carrying what seemed to be a gun case over his shoulder. (I'm not sure what worried them more, the gun case, or the T-shirt. After all, this is Montreal. Maybe they sent the Fashion Police.) When they police raided his locker, turns out it was only a "martial arts stick." (Of course, in Canada even that's enough to get you thrown to the ground and pepper sprayed.) Luckily for him it wasn't a pointed stick. Anyway, the cops apologised, and even offered to "maybe" pay for the lock they cut off.
          That's almost as bad as the Americans who sent a S.W.A.T. team after the guy the stole a Sony PS3, and killed him. Since when does it require special weapons and tactics to recover stolen property? There was no evidence the guy was armed, or that he even owned a weapon. All I can say is it's a good thing he didn't steal a Wii, or they'd have executed his entire family.

13 Jan

          You know, you hear about these people who have terminal cancer and survive because they never gave up, never surrendered. And I think to myself, if I had cancer, I'd fight it, and through sheer force of will and the power of my mind alone(and a teensy weensy little bit of chemotherapy), I'd beat it.
          And then I think, "Yeah, right." I mean if it were that easy, why I'd force my body to grow back some of that hair on my head that's deserted me. (Yes, deserted is the correct word. It's definitely Absent Without Official Leave, because I know I didn't sign its Leave Pass. Or maybe my forehead and the back of my neck have staged a mutiny and decided to regroup in the middle somewhere.)
          Or I'd re-grow that molar I lost when I was 23. After all, your body automatically grows a second set of teeth; you'd think it wouldn't be that hard to fool it. ("No, really, there was just the one set. You still owe me.")
          Or maybe I'd get rid of that acne I only developed once I turned 40. (And what the &#$@ is with that?)
          Or…or…
          Let's just hope I never get cancer.

14 Jan: Well what do you know. lotusice was right.

You scored as Batman, the Dark Knight. As the Dark Knight of Gotham, Batman is a vigilante who deals out his own brand of justice to the criminals and corrupt of the city. He follows his own code and is often misunderstood. He has few friends or allies, but finds comfort in his cause.

 
Batman, the Dark Knight
 
75%
El Zorro
 
63%
Lara Croft
 
58%
The Terminator
 
58%
William Wallace
 
58%
James Bond, Agent 007
 
58%
Neo, the "One"
 
58%
Maximus
 
54%
Captain Jack Sparrow
 
54%
Indiana Jones
 
54%
The Amazing Spider-Man
 
29%
</td>

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com

Oh, and apparently I'm also:
 
You scored as Peter Pan. Your alter ego is Peter Pan. You are a child at heart. Anything you believe is possible, and you never want to grow up.

 
Peter Pan
 
94%
Goofy
 
75%
The Beast
 
75%
Donald Duck
 
69%
Sleeping Beauty
 
69%
Snow White
 
56%
Pinocchio
 
44%
Cruella De Ville
 
38%
Ariel
 
38%
Cinderella
 
31%
</td>

Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?
created with QuizFarm.com

Hmmm....maybe I'm Peter Pan, the Dark Knight! Or Batman, leader of the Lost Boys! Either way, can I trade Robin in For Tinkerbell?

15 Jan: Conversations with the Boss:

 Me: So how much more am I going to be involved with the development of the Radar Course other than the Master Document?

Sgt: What do you mean?

Me: Well, am I going to develop the Master Lesson Plans?

Sgt: No, we're thinking of having Dave do that, because he's going to be teaching it.

Me: Wow. That makes sense.

Sgt: Sorry.

Me: Yeah, that's twice in a row.

Sgt: Oh no, I'm confusing Steve.

Me: Yeah, I'm not sure if I can work under these conditions.

16 Jan

          It's miserable cold out today. Snowy, windy, bitter cold. Days like today are they reason they used to retire guys like me, who hadn't made Sgt by the time we're 40. So it’s a good thing I'm posted to a school right now.
          Because if I were working out on the flight line, and the Sgt told me to go out and start 333 (A Hercules aircraft with 4 big freaking propellers) I'd say, "Oh, yeah? Make me. Go on, I dare you."
          And then I'd probably go to jail. Or at least to see the Base Social Worker--again.
 

17 Jan: FAWOW--Fathers Against World of Warcraft.

          I lost my son to World of Warcraft a while back.
          He started like most people, with gateway games: Wing Commander, Grand Theft Auto and Diablo. He assured me they weren't addictive, that he could handle it, but soon he'd moved on to the hard stuff--Doom, Quake, and Rainbow Six.
          I suppose it was peer pressure. All his friends were playing World of Warcraft. It was "cool." Soon he was locked away in the computer room for hours, even days, on end, feeding his $15 a month habit. He barely spoke to us anymore, and spent most of his time in front of the monitor talking to people no one else could see.
          The last couple of months we thought maybe he'd licked it, or at least got a handle on his addiction. He didn't talk about it as much. It didn't fill his every waking thought. But then the damn game mutated.
          Yesterday we learned he'd bought the expansion pack.
          So far I've managed to escape the allure of the game, but I feel like Charlton Heston in the Omega Man. It's just a matter of time.

18 Jan

          It's still winter. Honest, I just looked outside. It was winter when I left for work this morning, and, after three hours, there's no signs of it letting up. What gives?
          And yes, I know I live in Canada, and it's January, but is that any excuse for snowing on me, freezing my ass--ets off, and making me wear twice as many clothes as the average person for 4-5 months of the year? (Three times as many if you're the average nudist.)
          What do you mean, yes?
          Hey, don't make me come down there....unless you live someplace warm, and send airfare.

19 Jan

          I got my first rejection of the year for a short story. They said it "confused them," and that they "didn't think it was ready for publication yet."
          Okay.
          This is the story that got a close but no cigar from a couple of the big short story mags, and was accepted for publication by another mag--before the publication folded. The Problem is it's rather long as short stories go (about 8000 words) and I'm running out of markets to send it to. (And I've already pared it down to about as short as it's going to get, so don't go there. thptttt.)
          I've written several short stories in the past six years, and have had a couple of them published, mostly in smaller mags, but nothing recently. As I'm concentrating on writing novels, which I think (hope/pray) I do better than short stories anyway, I'm considering just posting all of my short stories to my webpage, free to anyone who wants to read them.
          So...what do ya think?

22 Jan

Happy birthday adriennelily!

That is all.

24 Jan

          Sometimes, I read an innocent word or phrase, and it just sends my mind spinning. Today's phrase was "Bronx Debate Team." I can just imagine:

Bronx Team Captain: "Yeah, well if you ax me, I tink broads should have da right ta abortions when eva dey wants."

Smarmy Host: "Bedford Sty Captain, your response?"

Bed Sty Captain: "Yeah, well fock you!"

Bronx Team Captain: "No, fock you!"

Bed Sty Captain: "Fock you."

Smarmy Host: "And at the end of twenty minutes, the Bronx Team wins it with 232 "fock yous" to Bed Sty's 228."

          Okay, maybe it's just me.

25 Jan

A 15-year-old boy in Australia was billed over $100,000 in back child support for his 13-year-old son. I thought it was rough in Canada, but apparently in Australia they're going after you for kids you had in past lives.

 

Kate must be tired of being right.  
You Are Wolverine

Small but fierce, you're a great fighter.
Watch out! You are often you're own greatest enemy.

Powers: Adamantium claws, keen senses, the ability to heal quickly

29 Jan

          Just about everyday there's an email (or a memo, or an O Group, or a meeting) where the PTB in the military pass on a bunch of new rules, procedures, or protocols that make my life just a little bit worse than it was the day before. And since I'm working on my 24th year in, that makes for one hell of a progressively crappy life.
          So, I was wondering what I could do to make myself feel better, and I decided I would like to buy a rapier--
like this one--and run around the squadron poking people in the butt with it yelling, "Touche, Pussycat!" in my best French Mouse accent.
          No doubt that would result in another new rule, procedure or protocol, though.

31 Jan

          Hey, I wonder if the folks over at Ideomancer know that they're the Site Of The Week over at SciFi.com, because if they do they aren't telling anyone. (Plug, plug.)
           Today is Finance Redistribution Day--the day when my pay is deposited into my bank account, then magically distributed to Ontario Hydro, the Gas Company, Bell, Starchoice, GM, Pilot Insurance, and a few 1-800 numbers charities. After what's left of it is filtered through the Wife-processor, I get my cut.
          It's my second favourite day, ranking right up there with Garbage Day.