Jan: Life Lessons
following is a list of life's lessons
that have proven true for me over the
last forty-five years. You're mileage
Learn from the past, live in the
present, plan for the future.
Rearranging any one of those verbs is
generally a mistake.
people don't always get what they
deserve. The same goes for bad people.
can get ahead through hard
work, determination, and talent, but
success is more likely if you know
There really are more fish in the
sea--most often better, tastier fish.
nobody likes you, it's probably your fault. Either that or you're
hanging with the wrong crowd.
Forgiving is a lot easier if you
forget. Selective memory has its
create our own reality, but most of us
can't find our user's manual.
world is not fair. Act
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.)
men are not created equal. Just
ask the women. Or the rich.
People lie. Constantly.
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.
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.
Everyone thinks that they can do it
better, and will offer criticism
despite an obvious lack of credentials
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.
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
Enjoy being you. Wear what you
like. Like what you like.
Don't be different for difference
sake. Being different is not the goal;
being yourself is.
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?
others enjoy being themselves. After
all, who made you the purveyor
of all that is good/right/fashionable
in this world?
person can make a difference, but
usually only with a lot of people
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.
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
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
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
I'm telling, you, I
shouldn't even be allowed to walk
and chew gum at the same time.
I really envy most women's ability to
be totally oblivious to matters that
don't directly concern them. For
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.
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
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
Or maybe I'd get rid of
that acne I only developed once I
turned 40. (And what the &#$@ is with
Let's just hope I never
Well what do you know.
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
James Bond, Agent 007
Neo, the "One"
Captain Jack Sparrow
The Amazing Spider-Man
Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
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.
Cruella De Ville
Character is your Alter Ego?
Hmmm....maybe I'm Peter Pan, the Dark
Knight! Or Batman, leader of the Lost
Boys! Either way, can I trade Robin in
15 Jan: Conversations with the Boss:
So how much more am I going to be
involved with the development of the
Radar Course other than the Master
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.
Me: Yeah, that's twice in a
Sgt: Oh no, I'm confusing
Me: Yeah, I'm not sure if I can
work under these conditions.
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
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
17 Jan: FAWOW--Fathers Against World of Warcraft.
I lost my son to World of Warcraft a
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
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.
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.
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
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?
That is all.
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
Smarmy Host: "Bedford Sty
Captain, your response?"
Bed Sty Captain: "Yeah, well
Bronx Team Captain: "No, fock
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
Okay, maybe it's just me.
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
Kate must be tired of being right.
You Are Wolverine
Small but fierce, you're a great
Watch out! You are often you're
own greatest enemy.
Powers: Adamantium claws, keen
senses, the ability to heal
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
So, I was wondering what
I could do to make myself
feel better, and I decided I
would like to buy a rapier--
run around the squadron
poking people in the butt
with it yelling, "Touche,
Pussycat!" in my best French
No doubt that would
result in another new rule,
procedure or protocol,
Hey, I wonder if the folks
know that they're the
Of The Week
over at SciFi.com, because
if they do they aren't
telling anyone. (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
charities. After what's left
of it is filtered through
the Wife-processor, I get my
It's my second favourite
day, ranking right up there
with Garbage Day.