The Convention – Sunday

When you’re at a convention, when the hotel checkout is noon (and there are no extensions), it’s guaranteed – morning comes too soon.

We arose, packed the room up, and then decided to drop off our milk and cokes at the pro suite.
This might have been an error in planning, as just getting an elevator from 25 to 10 should be written up as the third great Greek epic – the Iliad, the Odyssey and the Sunday Morning Elevators at A-Kon. (Because ya know, there was NO late checkout, so hordes were trying to get out early to beat hordes who weren’t trying to get out early – it was A-Kon, everything is measured in ‘hordes’.)
So when we got there, we stayed. They had breakfast tacos (and very graciously made some sans cheese for me – something they might want to consider doing more of in this day of more folks evincing lactose intolerance), it was safe and relatively quiet, there were interesting people to talk to, and most importantly, let’s say this all together children, “There Weren’t 20,000+ Anime Fans Crowded Into Too Small A Space”.
That made the Pro Suite Heaven-on-Earth.

Eventually Dorris went back to the room, thinking if she requested a bellman as a guest from her room, it would be faster. They checked us out by express phone checkout and we did indeed get a bellman and cart… an hour and forty-five minutes later.
(Yes, could we have afforded it and had we someone who could’ve looked in on the dogs and sat with them Monday, we would’ve stayed another night, just to avoid shit like this… there’s a reason I generally prefer to arrive on Thursday, leave on Monday. You’re there for the pre-con ‘easing into things’ Thursday night, you can spend Sunday evening recovering before a good night’s sleep and the drive back Monday. It’s a more elegant way of attending conventions, for a more civilized age.)
Anyway, we were finally on the road, headed to Plano – to Toni’s, and to Pancho’s.

Now, I don’t expect any of you to really understand my fondness for Pancho’s – there are oodles of places to get better Tex-Mex – hell, I can get Much Better tamales just down the road at Rio Grande – but it’s tradition, I like it, and their sopapillas, when done right, totally rock.
So we met at Toni’s place, then she and we headed to Pancho’s where the long-suffering Keith May and his friend Jeff, waited for us (silly bastards hadn’t gone inside, where it was cool… no, they sat outside in the parking lot and we were, courtesy of Sunday at the Sheraton, running Very Late). Lunch and conversation were fun and entertaining, we avoided ‘going for the pain’, as we knew we had a dinner date later in the day, and when we just couldn’t stay any longer and have a hope in hell of getting home afore midnight, we left.

Was going to drop off a copy of the anthology with a friend in Allen, but I couldn’t get hold of her, so we headed west, across the northern edge of the ‘D’ part of ‘DFW’ to Darrin & Lois Towers’ home, just south of Denton.
Supper was lovely – fresh-grilled steak, baked taters and yummy grilled veggies, the company was wonderful as it’s been years and years and years (like 15+) since I’d really gotten to spend any time with them. We’d see each other at conventions briefly, generally when I was in the full-blown grip of Con-mode and therefore not exactly sober or sane, but that was about it.
They’re both model train enthusiasts, another hobby I might take up if I had room and the money, so Dorris and I got to drool over their lovely layouts. Both Lois and her late brother Tommie, an old and dear friend of mine, collected bear stuffies – hell, Lois makes them as well – so I got to admire her ‘Bear Room’ (mega-packed bear population and almost all of them complaining they wanted more space… and more company) and her sewing room (good God, it was like looking at the miniatures and painting stuff here, except her supplies and such take up much more room).
Then came the reason this post is two weeks late.
It’s hard, on occasion, for me to think too much about Tommie – I still talk to him, and after years of friendship I’m pretty sure I can hear what he’d say, or what he’s saying, who’s to tell – but that’s different than thinking about him. (Don’t ask me how, but it is. Perhaps it’s because I can talk to him and move on before the pain can catch up to me.)
Going through the stuff Lois had held back from the estate sale for me to pick and choose from required a lot of thinking about Tommie, and talking about him as well. Bittersweet, at best. But I came home with a passel of CD’s and DVD’s as well as a few other things… and a Beatles Yellow Submarine lava lamp, which I still have abso-freaking-lutely no idea where to put… but I’m working on it. Never owned a lava lamp, always wanted one, that it was one of Tommie’s odd-ass finds is somehow fitting. Hope it still works, it’s gorgeous. (Of course, like most of the stuff I really like, I want it in the computer room and that dawg just won’t hunt – this place is packed.)
It was long-overdue business that was finally tended to. They’ve been holding the stuff for me – it’s just that I so rarely get up to DFW these days.
After that, and some more visiting, it was time to wind our weary way south.

A brief word about me and cars. At 6’3″, there’s not a lot of cars that have the leg room for me to stretch out in… I’ve never found one, but I haven’t ridden in a lot of different models, so I accept the theory that there are some that would be comfortable. And after a looong weekend… well, I really wish we could have stayed an extra day, or crashed at a hotel somewhere in route – my back and legs were killing me and love Greta (our Dodge Stratus) as I do, it was a painful drive home.
But we grounded here in Pflugerville safe and sound. Yea, there was much dawg rejoicing and our trip to A-Kon finally drew to a close.
As does this recounting thereof.

Listening to: the fan blowing cold air from the living room to the bedroom
Mood: Sleepy – it’s 3:25 AM for heaven’s sake!

Enough Screaming Already…

We live in a world of polarization – it’s immaterial as hell who raised their voice first, polite discourse is almost a forgotten concept and there’s way too many people screaming, yours truly among them, screaming their ideologies at others who aren’t listening just like we’re not listening and it’s a cacophony of venom and bile and we’d  all like to leave it behind if we could but the other side won’t let us and they’re so wrong, why can’t they see they’re wrong, why won’t they listen…

Stop. Just stop and be quiet. Listen.

Those sounds, the sounds of two people making love… good. No, don’t think about who’s who and what’s what! Just listen. Listen to the passion, listen to the union of two into one, listen to the pillow-talk, listen to the sound of soft caresses on skin. That’s good… that’s special.
That’s what love sounds like. Who’s who and what’s what doesn’t matter if you listen closely enough and hear the love. Any time you’re tempted to put faces and genders on it – shut up and listen. Don’t start talking, don’t start thinking – for heaven’s sake, don’t start screaming.
Just listen.

In the quiet, there is truth. In the quiet, there is time to breathe, time to relax, time to let go of what you think and listen.

Those sounds, the sounds of two people crying together… that’s precious. Leave the gender stereotypes out of it, don’t even ponder gender. Two souls in are sharing their pain and in so doing, they’re lightening each other’s burden. That’s precious… that’s holy.
Listen to the way the sound of their sobbing changes, from open to muffled, as someone holds someone else tight and the tears fall on a shoulder or neck. They may not be able to change a thing but they can share each other’s pain and that’s compassion. Compassion is holy.
Just listen.

In the quiet, there is peace. In the quiet, there is time to feel, time to let what is real wash over you, time to find clarity out of illusion and listen.

Those sounds, the sounds of two people laughing together… that’s a blessing. Here, we’re on safe ground, doesn’t really matter who’s laughing with whom or why. Not catty or snide or mean or hateful or rude, just the sounds of honest, joyous laughter. That’s a blessing… that’s salve for the soul. The bubbling eruption of life itself, opening wide their mouths and sharing their happiness with the universe, life giving itself to life, joy multiplied by itself ad infinitum, laughter without end, amen.
Just listen.

In the quiet, there is purity of purpose. In the quiet there is purity of form. Silence thoughts of who and why and how, and  just listen to the purity of love, of compassion, of laughter. The participants don’t matter and cannot affect the inherent Truths. Love is Good, Compassion is Holy, Laughter is a Blessing.
Period, end of statement.

Now we’re all going to start screaming again, it seems to be unavoidable, but for just a moment, from time to time, remember the Truths in the stillness – love, compassion and laughter – and how in the face of those three, all other considerations are immaterial.

Listening to: Jephte, oratorio for 6 voices & continuo: XVI – Giacomo Carissimi
Mood: still and at peace

The Convention – Saturday

morning came way too early – yea verily, old and out-of-shape sucketh.

so got up, made a pot of coffee (really, if you are a coffee fan and you don’t take your own coffee maker with you, you’re just gonna have to deal with itty-bitty hotel-supplied coffee makers, or force yourself to the restaurant far earlier than you should), and started coming to terms with my absolute terror concerning the day ahead of me.

dorris eventually awoke, and i felt free to go to the bathroom. (another thing about this Sheraton – flushing the toilets was loud as hell and extremely forceful – i coulda lost ideas down that damn thing!). we made plans to meet Mark & Karen at breakie, Wendy as well, and off we staggered to the hotel restaurant.
now those of you who don’t do a lot of cons, or don’t do them in hotels as pretentious as the Sheraton… well, breakfast buffets are kinda standard… $19 for a buffet that ranks about a ‘4’ on the ‘1 – 10’ scale is only a bargain if the restaurant is charging $4 for coffee, $4 for juice, and both are included in a buffet plate – which the pretentious Sheraton did and they were.
powdered eggs are a no-no… they should never be served at a buffet, but all too often are. for $19 i expect fresh muthafuckin’ eggs and a goddamn omelette chef should be standard – neither was the case, so we only had breakfast there once. otherwise it was okay… merely okay… and the service, for the most part, sucked putrified ass out of a dead baboon.

Mark & Karen collect kitschy trinkets for us during their world travels, so those were delivered and we talked for awhile. Wendy joined us. it was expensive, but pleasant.

now, picture this in your mind.
way too many people. way too many very freaky people. way too many very freaky people of a fandom that i don’t particularly resonate with. way too many very freaky people of a fandom that i don’t particularly resonate with who think nothing of stopping in the middle of traffic flow to take pictures of interesting costumes and get a bit bent when you move the fuck on through because if you stop you’ll never get any-fucking-where because that shit is happening every five to ten feet.
i went and hid in the pro suite.

a few brief words about guest status.
when i worked Larrycons, otherwise known as Dallas (and Austin and San Antonio and Houston) Fantasy Festivals in guest relations and later as pro suite staff, i held guests who hid out in the suite in disdain. the fans paid to come see them, they needed to be where those fans could see them.
i soothed my self-loathing with the opinion that no one was paying to see me… although there were certain people i really, Really, REALLY should have given my cell number to, so when they showed up to see me they could have found me. (I’m so very sorry, Dave & Julie.)
but i hung out with old friends and new, enjoyed the hospitality, and waited ’til it was time to go to the panel.

a further word on conventions and guest status.
this marks my second convention as a guest… my first was way back in the dawn of time, somewhere in the mid-80’s i think, when i was Guest-of-Honor at Wunderfest in Wichita Falls. i got the flier and there it was “Guest of Honor: Jim Reader and Japanese Animation”. i about shit a brick as the only thing i was responsible for was recruiting Tommie Dunnam and his anime collection to come to the con with me so they could have an anime room. it really should have been “G-o-H: Tommie Dunnam and Japanese Animation”… but it was too late to fix it (i saw the flier about two weeks before the con, as i remember) and so i was a GOH… Wunderfest’s were very small, very tiny Relaxicons – maybe 150 attendees spread out over three days, and i loved them dearly. you got to meet the guests – hell, you couldn’t keep from meeting them. that’s where i met David Lee Anderson & Dell Harris and another artist who’s name escapes me… all the panel rooms and dealers room and gaming shut down when the GOH spoke (something i blissfully didn’t have to do) in order to insure an audience. marvelous, wonderful times and people.
and at A-Kon, i was legitimately a Panelist… and terrified at the prospect.

the panel had somewhere around 20 to 30 attendees and went very well. we were all asked what the hardest part about writing to the anthology specs had been for us – i answered ‘writing a non-erotic sex scene’, as erotica was not allowed. it was indeed a wee bit taxing. it went well, i was surrounded by a marvelous group of women: Lee Martindale (editor/publisher/author, haven’t gotten to her story yet), Elizabeth Moon (author, wrote introduction, her story didn’t gel in time for submission – hasn’t gelled yet, but you Really Want to read it, so go buy a copy of ‘Ladies of Trade Town’ so there will be a sequel for it to appear in), Merlyn Finn (a pen name, charming English lady who wrote a hell of a story called “First Fruits”… i liked it a lot), Melanie Fletcher (cover artist and author, i’m on her story “A Touch of Ginger” now, review later), Brandie Tarvin (author and writer for the game Shadowrun, my steampunk soul sister, we ended up somewhat mirroring each other’s dress for the whole of saturday, haven’t gotten to her story “Silk and Steam” yet, review later), Gloria Oliver (author, whose story “Art” i have yet to get to, review later), Rebecca MacFarland Kyle (author, whose story “Do Unto Others” i’ll get to and review later) (yeah, i’m barely into my own anthology – you wanna make something of it?), and finally Melinda LeFevers (author, she has the last story in the anthology, what? you think i’ve gotten to it yet? review later). we all seemed to have a good time, as did the audience – but to be truthful, most of the panel was a blur for me.

then we traipsed in a long, ragged line, down to the signing – met a lot of our readers, all of them lovely people, signed quite a few books, talked with folks, had fun sitting between Melinda & Lee, waving across the aisle of Artists Alley at the others, being taken very good care of by A-Kon Guest Relations Gofers.

and a quick note here – God bless the A-Kon staff, all the way around. they took very good care of us, we were treated magnificently, and they’re some hard-working people… kudos and gratitude to them all.

afterwards, i retreated yet again to the sanctum of the pro suite and went functionally brain-dead – i would have still been sitting there when the launch party began – hell, when it ended as well, were it not for my wife, who, as is her wont, took care of me, made sure i was fed and shooed me upstairs to dress for party.
now see, i meant to be wearing cargo pants… but there was a Jim-can’t-generally-order-pants-for-himself-without-getting-them-way-too-big wardrobe malfunction, so i was left wearing the blue shorts i’d worn earlier in the day… feeling like an underdressed moron. the shirt was lovely, the nails were lovely, the shorts were motherfucking shorts!

made it to our champagne toast w/strawberries before our back way escort to the party – because fighting for elevator space with hoards of anime fans just isn’t to be considered if there is ANY other way to get somewhere.
the champagne was almost orgasmic – very damn nice. the OH MY GOD THEY’RE AS BIG AS BULL BALLS strawberries with milk and white chocolate were orgasmic… further deponent sayeth not.
then we made our way through the back halls of the hotel, got to the party, got introduced and asked questions by Lee, then it was party time. completely with an incredibly beautiful, rich and sweet cake that i wish i’d grabbed some more of…
got to talk with people, sign more books, visit with old friends (hello Cyn, you sexy beast!), make new friends, and – of course- my bar was open, although all i’d brought to the party was Jack in a flask and some Captain Morgan Private Stock… nephew and niece brought more later.
i ended up having to borrow cash to buy the six copies i brought home with me (thank you Mark, you should have gotten the check by now)(and no, they’re ALL spoken for, thank you very much – will be ordering more next week – Rie, Rachel, Matt and StarCo’s Radiant Barista Goddess have the last four owed them).
it was nice to relax and bullshit, but the day had been far more emotionally draining than it should have been (there’s a whole post there that even if i write it, damn few of you will ever see – too much neuroses, too tightly packed), so i wasn’t that upset when the hotel threw us out and sent us on our way.

then it was the long trudge back to the room and after a minor amount of stream-of-consciousness (or lack thereof) wind-down, i was dead to the world.
thus ended Saturday…

Listening to: Journey to Kalimdor – Game Soundtrack
Mood: glad to finally have Saturday reported on

On A Very Serious Note For Writers…

don’t worry, I will get back to the day-by-day on the convention.

So, the new anthology contract… it had some confusing language and some warning flags.
I tried to work out the meaning by talking to fellow authors, by using the intarwebs, by no small amount of skull sweat…
and in the end, I called a lawyer. (Actually I called Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts in Houston and an attorney called me back this afternoon.) Answering some questions they were willing to do for free, if it got too much more involved, I’d need to join ($50 a year).
Not a problem, worth it at twice the price.
Lawyer and I conferred, I elucidated my confusion, she agreed the contract as written was contradictory, and I sent a Very Polite letter to the publisher outlining the conflicting sections, and asking that the “work for hire” phrasing be removed, since that (let’s get real dramatic here) ASSIGNS AWAY MY COPYRIGHT FOREVER AND EVER.
That wasn’t what the publisher intended, the contract’s being reworked, and I even sent him a link to SFWA’s sample contracts, one of which is for anthologies.

Yeah folks, it’s a pain in the ass, and reading legalese is purposefully as difficult as possible, and a lot of us wouldn’t have bothered (and without my wife and a friend catching the ‘work for hire’ phrase, as well as my own vague memories of the havoc that wrought in the comic industry, I might not have caught it). A friend of mine said they would have signed it without batting an eye at that phrase.
This is our business, people. This is our work, our sweat, our product – we need to at least be conversant with the in’s and out’s of contracts. I want to be published, can’t think of many writers who don’t… and when we’re getting published, we damn well better have at least a passable grasp on the terms of that deal.
This is our business. We don’t just produce pretty stories, we have to be responsible for the management of our intellectual property. Maybe someday if we get an agent, and they’re actually competent and worth the percentage we’re going to be paying them, then we can sortakindamaybe slough off on this, but in the interim, like it or not (and I really don’t), this is our business, protecting ourselves and our rights.
Santa Claus ain’t gonna do it, and the Easter Bunny doesn’t make with the guiltless oral sex – this is part of our job.

I’ve also suggested to the Director of ConDFW that a panel on contracts, with a real live lawyer working in the field of artist law, might be a hell of an idea. I hope they implement such a panel, I’d love to attend it.

Listening to: Labor of Love – Michael Giacchino – Star Trek – Score
Mood: happy… but wondering how many people have signed similar contracts and not known what they were doing…

The Convention – Friday

some of this is copied from earlier FB posts, some of it’s new.

Friday – okay, peripheral neuropathy has left my feet numb to about 70% of the sensations they should be feeling, but even so, the full spa pedicure at Enso Nails was damn near orgasmic. my feet felt better by the time the technician was through with them than they have in years. there was humor as the technician, with her less-than-perfect grasp of the English language, came to terms with my desire for ‘color’. 
‘you want color?’
‘yes, color – go ask my wife what color.
she goes to where dorris is getting a manicure.
‘you husband, he want color?’
‘yes, yes he does.’
‘what color?’
so dorris chose a metallic blue, and while the girl is painting my toes, two or three of the technicians wander by, look at what she’s doing and then look at me, asking, ‘color?’
‘yes, color,’ i’d reply.
then she put on the designs… more fun yet again. (a little pink fish on each big toenail, with waves and water-side reeds.) other technicians stopped by during that as well, but they’d already figured out i was a freak and merely stared.

then we were on the road to dallas, with a planned stop at the Elite Cafe in Waco.
if you’ve never had their Shiner-Bock-battered onion rings, you live a sad and colorless life, and are doomed to wander the face of the Earth having never tasted bliss. their chicken-fried steak is one of the top five i’ve ever had. i would’ve loved to have stopped there on the way home as well, but it was late and we were still very well-fed from supper (we’ll get to that toward the end of the sunday report.)

the trip went by pretty quickly and then we were downtown trying to find parking/unload the car closer to the hotel than somewhere in Ft. Worth (asshole attendant wouldn’t let us pull in, check in, offload and then i’d take the stuff to the room and dorris would go find parking – oh no, that would have approached convenient.) we eventually ended up pulling up to the curb in a no-parking, no-standing zone, dorris went in, checked in and grabbed a bellman while i waited outside ready to try and block any attempt to tow our car… i needn’t have worried.

so eventually, courtesy of a very helpful bellman, we got up to our room to find my keycard didn’t work – par for the course. he let me in and dorris picked up keycards that did work on her way up from parking the car under the Sheraton’s south tower. (finding a spot in the Sheraton parking in itself was a minor miracle.)
i honestly thought they’d put us in the wrong room. it was part of one of the suites (the Presidential i think), meant to serve as the ‘bedroom’. metric fucktons of floor space, two queen-size beds that were Very Comfortable, desk, chairs, moderately large TV, vast expanse of window with a lovely view of downtown Dallas (we could see the old Mobil Oil Pegasus).

linked up with my dear sister Wendini, went and tried to find George, who had my badge, and ended up in the bar, talking with old convention friends.

back in the hotel room – still open for business, just needed some coffee with my alcohol, and a damn sight more affordable than any thing in the bar.

proof that cons are good for the creativity:
“What do you think of Lady Gaga?”
“I like her message, I like her music, it’s pleasant, but it doesn’t stick in my mind,” says I. “But I’m really into Bavarian Lizard Death Metal right now and it’s kind of an all-consuming thing.”
So, Bavarian Lizard Death Metal band – Grosse Gilameister – their first album, “Pretzels & Blood Jam” – breakout track, an 18 minute cover of “Walking on Sunshine”.
when you think of Grosse Gilameister’s style in videos, think women from a concentration camp that had a pasta bar, lots of trippy “Jim Morrison/Lizard King” soft focus visuals, lederhosen, red filters, lots of lizard tongues going in odd places. 

got a call from Mark Bryant, old college friend, and he and his wife came up late that night, got a hotel room and stayed around for saturday’s festivities… but dorris and i crashed about midnight as we were your bonafide tired puppies.

oh, and a final note on the hotel – not wanting you to think it was all Shangri-La and blow-jobs, i’ve seen gas station restrooms that stocked better toilet paper. not particularly rough, just stiff and not too absorbent… made blowing one’s nose, among other things, somewhat unpleasant.

Listening to: “Old Baghdad” – Jerry Goldsmith – ‘The 13th Warrior’ Score
Mood: barely awake, slurping down coffee, doctor’s appt. at 10

A-K-D-Day – Morning

Okay, those of you who don’t know me personally, or for whom it might have been awhile, here’s a look at a Jim-Morning… and a tribute to my friend Matt and the abuse he puts up with for no discernible reason…
Facebook chat:
Matt: heya
Jim: murflegurmph
M: You’re so bright and bright and cheery!
J: i think the 6 AM wakeup call replete with charlie horses in both legs and a mild sinus headache just assraped the bright and bright and cheery right the fuck out of me.
J: you seem to have woken up on the Precious-Pollyanna-Good-Times-Express side of the bed this morning…
M: well it’s a beautiful day, Mr. Reader
J: there’s a rabid wildebeest with an unhealthy interest in your rectum somewhere out there in the world at large, Mr. Borgard… I’m hoping today is the day his dreams come true.
M: hahaha
M: that’s horrifying
J: if you hear the thunder of hooves, don’t bother running – he was faster than you before he went rabid, he’s even faster now.
J: and i would fuckin’ offer up a cunt-licking-kitten to Cthulhu if SOME-FUCKING-WHERE the a-kon site had a rudimentary map of the hotel and surrounding environs
M: no way, it’ll be an adventure
M: treat it like those old games where you had to make your own map
J: after a drive into the heart of downtown Dallas on a hot friday evening i do not want a fucking adventure – i want to park, get to my room, freshen up and change, then have a drink and find friends… nowhere in there is mention one of Adventure…
J: actually i’m trying to get a grip on where the Marriott is in relation to the Sheraton since it looks like the authors are getting together for breakie in the morning, possibly at the Marriott since it’s not the main con hotel, just the first (and sold-out as well) overflow hotel
M: wow, sounds like some fun logistical issues
J: yeah, we’re packing the coffee machine, so i’ll be somewhat fortified at least if i have to go venture out…

you see what he has to deal with? truly a prince among men…

final preparations continue… should be leaving here about 12:30, going to my pedicure appointment (pity the technician) and from there hitting the road. we’ll be stopping in Waco at the incredible, fantabulous Elite Circle Grill for supper, then heading on into Big D…

Listening to: Adieu, Sweet Lovely Nancy – Jerry Bryant, “The Roast Beef of England”
Mood: not too bad actually

A-Kon Departure Minus One…

Dorris is working on the final shirt, the one for the launch party Saturday night. I’m going over the fragments of lists I’ve written myself to make sure I don’t forget anything (sooner or later I might actually want to consider pulling out the bags and packing). I’m also going over some pages of a novel for a friend of mine, wondering where I’m going to fasten my pocket-watch on shorts that have no belt loops (may have to just deal with jeans for part of the con) (y’all really didn’t need to see my fish-belly-white, hairless legs anyway) (really, they’re like something from a Lovecraft story).

Elsewhere in the news, a site where I do no small amount of business ( ) is sponsoring a contest where you described your favorite RPG (table-top role-playing-game) character – a brief stat block and no more than 400 words of bio. Their staff has narrowed the field down to twelve. Those twelve will be pruned back to five by a panel of ‘celebrity’ gamer judges. The final five will be voted on by the site’s patrons – first prize is a tablet computer (not an iPad) and the other four get gift certificates to the site ranging from $100 to $25.
My entry made it to the semi-finals. Not sure when the judging for the finals will be finished (have since found out it’s next week at some point), but further updates as they occur. Further than I expected to make it… while I love my humorless preacher from “Deadlands”, I really didn’t expect anyone else to. At the very least, “Jed” will be featured in an issue of their weekly e-newsletter.
I have achieved immortality! 😉

laundry proceeds, having had the blockage in the vent pipe cleared so that we’re no longer frying thermostats… Dorris is locked in a death struggle with the koi shirt, trying to get things to match… i’m washing dishes, working on items on the list, and going over chapters…

Listening to: This Too Shall Pass – OK Go
Mood: upbeat but worried I will forget something

And the Monkey Flings Poo at the Switch…

y’know, as gamers, be it console or PC, the programmers of the world have tried their damnedest to teach us a simple concept:
Save Early, Save Often.
Wise words, good words… words that could, for a writer, easily be translated as “Back Up Your Files Early, Back Up Your Files Often”… very wise words, very good words indeed.
This is so when your flash drive horks and tells you it is not formatted and asks if you’d like to format it, you don’t worry, you are not troubled, you say calmly to yourself “Why, I backed up my files just last night, nothing is lost, all is well.”
This is an infinitely better response than the one I’m having right now.
My current response is “I don’t remember the last time I backed up my files…”
That’s not just me wondering if it was this week, or this month – that’s me wondering if I’ve done it this year… because, you know, to me – the lotek proto-primate – flash drives are magic talismans that are forever safe, forever incorruptible.
How, you may be asking yourself, can a reasonably intelligent man such as I make such a silly assumption about flash drives?
Primarily, I take it as an article of faith, because remembering to back up my files regularly is haaaaaard, and it takes time away from important things like playing video games where I know the Motherfucking Rule is SAVE EARLY, SAVE OFTEN!
That’s how I can make such assumptions.
Have a tech-knowledgeable friend advising on recovery efforts, but at this point it’s not looking really hopeful.
The one saving grace, or shred of one anyway, is that a majority of my recent work has been emailed hither and yon, so copies are available for most, if not all, of my work.

Listening to: my teeth grind
Mood: carefully avoiding letting myself get my hands on sharp objects

Up & Down & Up & Down…

so, the evil computer dude who dealt with the problems of Dorris’ and my machines planted an idea in my head, a glorious, wicked idea… instead of two 500 gig drives, i could real cheaply ($70) have one 500 gig drive and one 2 Terabyte drive.
i’m surprised the ‘SQUEE’ didn’t deafen all of you. both my old drives had less than 50 gig free on them – dangerously full for someone like me – so i jumped on that idea and away we went. now, to keep things inexpensive, i just shuttled stuff from my old slave drive to the master drive and then switched out slaves, and ferried the same stuff to the new drive, named “Bigass”.
this can take a while… i mean, i had 150 gig folders full of stuff – lots of data to move – and so a lot of the past three days has been shuttling files back and forth and such.
but at last, ‘Bigass’ is installed, i’ll be looking at using my old 500 gig as an external drive and everything is working just dandy…
except that my network card won’t link into Clear and until it does, my wife and i can’t share documents on the network (other than by email – which is a little ridiculous) so we’ve got a friend working on that problem.
(many, Many thanks to Matt for giving Lotek Jim a way to transfer data that even i could understand)

if you might conceivably enjoy a zombie novel done as science fiction instead of horror, i urge you to check out Mira Grant’s “Feed” (if you haven’t already) and its sequel “Deadline” (which came out this week and i devoured in a day and a half). the ending of ‘deadline’ had me screaming for a multitude of reasons – biggest of which is that the last book in the trilogy, ‘Blackout’, won’t be out for quite a while… DAMN IT.

you know that book, ‘the secret of the bermuda triangle’, that i’m reading so you won’t have to?
well, believe me, it continues to suck mightily, imho. i’ve never considered the idea of writing an entire novel in dialect, much less writing an entire novel in ‘dumb as a post’ or whatever whacked-out headspace the main character of this pile of excrement is in. it alternates between sixth-grade prose and clumsy mystical enlightenment, which are NOT two great tastes that taste great together. i’m only able to read it in short spurts… any longer and i won’t continue reading it, i’ll return it to the guy i borrowed it from (Thank whatever Deity there may be that i didn’t pay money for this piece of shit). the things i do for you people…

so, tomorrow is Naming the World at CenTex Writers Group (which i’m not making any pretense of participating in – i’ll just be attending), a get-together with fellow writers and spouses at Opal Divine’s, sunday we’re doing a double feature of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean IV’ and ‘X-Men: First Class’, sometime next week i need to get together with Tino to get my hair trimmed (split-ends-ville), i’m meeting a fellow writer for coffee thursday morning, and then friday it’s off to A-Kon!
i have acquired a flask to enable easier minor self-medication.
i had planned to finally finish decorating my tennis shoes with sharpie to wear to the party saturday night, but it’s been so long since i started that some of the linework has faded terribly, so that idea’s pretty much kaput. that leaves me either wearing my dark brown kathunkkathudboots from hell or sandals – which raises the question, would it be a party with me in sandals and NOT have my toenails painted?
ponder on this… lemme know what you think.

Listening to: women’s collegiate softball on ESPN
Mood: really hatin’ allergy season

You Remember That “Unwelcome Buried Treasure” I Found…

back in  ?

well, i’ve transferred it all into a document and put it in the “Old Shit and Bad Shit” file.
i’m really down with the idea that there should be someone assigned to wipe your hard drives in the event of your death… for me, not only wipe the hard drives but take the flash drives and make sure nothing in the old shit and bad shit file ever sees the light of day. some of the other stuff on the flash drives, maybe… not this stuff. i can’t bring myself to delete it, but they should.

probably need to put those provisions in my will… probably need to make a will, come to think of it.

and upon typing it out – ye Gods an’ wee l’il fishies, it sucked. the only saving grace is that it was put in the composition book when my handwriting was still legible.
hell of a way to spend a Sunday morning.

Listening to (and watching) : “Kick-Ass” streaming from Netflix
Mood: need more coffee