In the ink well

Dog Ear

April 5, 2018

Clerks (DOG EAR)

nteresting use of historical reading today. Found myself on the Sunrail plaform, reading the Southern Pacific Railroad’s Historical Group’s magazine, specifically an article about a couple who clerked in the early fifties. They were involved with working the orders by customers coming in, securing them seats on trains a month (and possibly, in larger groups) a year out. Image that – doing all that work across a railroad with something like a hundred passenger trains each day, getting people into seats and to their destinations. And no Excel, or internet, or anything beyond a typewriter. They were even limited in […]
March 29, 2018

Flatline (DOG EAR)

o I’m a corporate schmoe. I do process. I run scrums. I do planning. I do data-raids. I go to a lot, lot, lot of meetings. And I get a lot of interruptions. The interruptions are the worst. Millennials don’t mind them as much (since their brains have grafted around their phones). To me, I’m thinking long-term. I’m organizing my thoughts and considering a problem from several angles and thinking of the best way to something and there’s the critical email, the phone call, the IM. And I can feel the blue smoke off my mental brake shoes, the howl, […]
March 21, 2018

Own The Road (DOG EAR)

To the person ticked off at bicyclists who “own the road”, they do. Look it up. And yes, it ticks me off that moron motorists don’t know the rules of the road they bought tags for (like turn signals and the three-foot rule). One of the reasons I love being a writer and learning how to hone my skill is because it allows me to effectively compose, arrange and present my thoughts (such as the above, accepted by the Orlando Sentinel in their Ticked Off column for March 21stof this year). It was a rebuttal to some motorist who thought […]
March 15, 2018

Mind Blowing (DOG EAR)

’ve mentioned around the blogtorium that the book that really set my young mind off the rails and made me into the person I am today was HG Well’s War of the Worlds, reviewed and praised HERE. In a nutshell, it showed me that true literature can always tell new stories, that happy endings should not be assumed and conventions are meant to be dashed. So this woman I work with, her ten year old son just won an “Odyssey of the Mind” contest at his school and will be advancing to state. And he was so committed to doing […]
March 15, 2018

Pitching (DOG EAR)

’m not why I’m writing this – I should be telling you how to do things, rather than expressing my own shortcomings. But making a pitch is an art totally beyond me. You might have remembered my review for Dark Matter. It was a cool book about possibility, life and its spawning timelines. I really enjoyed it and ranted about it in my review. Three of you reported to have pursued it and are all currently reading it. In that, I made a successful pitch. But then there was Railsea, a book I read a while ago and am rereading. […]
March 7, 2018

Million Yen Women (DOG EAR)

o the setup in his Netflix Series from Japan is that a young, rather unsuccessful writer finds out that some unknown person has “invited” five women to live with him. They are told that they must pay the writer a million yen a month (roughly $10,000) and cannot tell anything about the invitation or answer any personal questions. And, seemingly, all of the women can afford this. Outside of his strange houseguests, there are other esoteric touches to this stage. A fax machine that spews out scrawling death threats. A flat-eared kitten that prefers to be called “cat”. The writer’s […]
February 28, 2018

Perv (DOG EAR)

ot to go into details, but someone loosely tied to my team is getting rotated out. In the area I manage, it’s getting more and more obvious that this person can’t produce. So they are going into some sort of remedial track and rotating off to a slower-paced team. And that got me to thinking. On the train ride in, I began to empathize with that person. I know that in our remote location (half a world away) our culture and their culture sometimes clash. Things that are understood here aren’t there. Expectations, as foreign as they are, must be […]
February 22, 2018

Fatalism (DOG EAR)

thought I’d pissed off the Russian mob and had suffered a contract hit. You’ll remember how I mentioned I shut off my blog comments because of all the entries being placed on it (sites get a lot more traffic the more places they are featured, which is a faulty algorithm that drives disreputable behaviors). I’d decided that the last time my site got hacked it was through this mechanism and, if anything, my feedback mechanism was getting stone-aged. Once I started getting volumes of Russian traffic, I decided to mitigate the risk and shut it down. And three days later, […]
February 15, 2018

No feedback (DOG EAR)

es, it’s been a while. My computer cratered and it’s been the work of a half month (one week for the shop to scrub and rewindow my box, then one for me to reinstall and reconnect everything). I’ve got a ton of book reviews in the hopper (I’d lose myself in reading to escape my Tron woes). But it got me thinking about other things. Like the feedback I’ve gotten off the bottom of my entries (yes, if you scroll down, you’ll notice it’s no longer there). The reason for this is many-fold. First, it’s not because I don’t like […]
January 25, 2018

Book Burning (DOG EAR)

here comes a time in every book’s life when you flip to the final page and read to the bottom. And then you think, “Wonderful.” Or possibly, “Thank Christ that’s done.” But either way, we get to the end of all books (even if we blow the canopy early and bail). The question then becomes – what to do with those leftovers? Yes. For the books that made me smile or spoke to me in my loneliness, that connected to my soul in some way, I keep. There is a straining set of shelves in the Florida room I place […]