In the ink well

Dog Ear

May 20, 2021

Making Room (DOG EAR)

ell, it was time for the quarterly National Model Railroad Association newsletter again (South-East region only, thank God). It’s that time when I curse my late entries and the scramble to get everything into the newsletter, fighting with oversized photos, rambling copy and Microsoft Publisher. I’m always pleased with the result but not the process. This time, I had my own contribution, a rather important piece I wrote, three-quarters of a page, that would talk about the importance of a train club being there for its membership. I have just dropped out of another club for exactly that reason – […]
May 6, 2021

An open mind (DOG EAR)

y Grande Loop (for my bicycle) is to ride to the Sunrail station and roll north to Longwood. From there, it’s a bike-mile to the Seminole Trail. I can shoot east to Oviedo, catch the Cady Way Trail which brings me back home at just a shade under 30 miles. It’s possibly my favorite local ride. I don’t ride with music and I certainly don’t answer my phone (making me somewhat of a minority on the trail). Old people riding their trikes with angry talk radio spewing. Joggers with earbuds focused on their motivational podcasts. People chatting on phones or […]
April 29, 2021

Railroad Paperwork (DOG EAR)

ne of the side uses of my site is recording model railroad ops session. To explain, I’m a member of a huge model railroad club. Once a month we run trains like a real railroad. Dispatchers. Orders. Paperwork. Switching. All that fun railroad stuff. And early on in the Blogatorium I started writing my accounts of each session, everything from my small 2×4 foot microlayout to the sprawling La Mesa club in San Diego’s Balboa Park. It’s fun to “yarn” about things that happen, all the goofs, fubars and accidents. What is funny is how much this has become a […]
April 22, 2021

Rock and a Hard Place (DOG EAR)

doubt it caused concern in the New York Publishing Houses (is that even a thing anymore?). And I don’t think the literary blogs were abuzz over it. But last week, I skipped any entries – Dog Ear and the following Book Review. The thing is, I wasn’t up to it. Before posting up my blog (I’d written it the day before) I’d gone over to the dentist first thing in the morning to get my new tooth implant inserted. Big day, been waiting a year for it. But when I got out of the car, that gentle muscle spasm (sic) […]
April 8, 2021

Regressing into Space Opera (DOG EAR)

y dirty little secret is that I run a role-playing game once a week (zoom-style). Haven’t reffed in three decades but some of the players asked and it sounded like fun. Back then, my world was StarWars. Everything was about light sabres and TIE fighters and that endlessly evil Empire. Black and white morality (literally) and (if you think about it) silly technology. The data center that the Rebels raided in that recent movie had the information stored in what looked like giant eight-track tapes. And even though flying space fighters around is really cool, it’s pointlessly stupid when you […]
April 1, 2021

Power (DOG EAR)

here are times when it becomes evident that writing is like magical spell-casting (if that were, indeed, a thing). It takes years to hone one’s writing ability. But once one is a writer, people in general concede that the writer has a power. In the paper the other day, I read of a lawmaker who is enacting legislation to suppress voting (by making it illegal to distribute water to those waiting in hot sun-blasted lines for a chance to vote in ever-restricted poling places. I simply noted (in as few sentences and with as few words as possible) that such […]
March 25, 2021

Wording (DOG EAR)

uick one this time since I had an eyeball issue yesterday and three hours of dental work today (getting old sucks, and yes, I know about the alternative, but it still sucks). Anyway, working on a CYOA (Choose Your Own Adventure) game – just doing preliminary encounter testing now. There is a bit where you are in a bar. I found myself spooling out this: You order a glass of bourbon and sit down. Then you see someone you know enter. Hey, I’m a writer. I’m better than this wordy script. Since we already know you are in a bar, […]
March 18, 2021

Seeing Life and Art (DOG EAR)

love all forms of media and the art of storytelling. And recently I started rewatching and old favorite anime (Japanese animation) with the jawbreaking name Blood Blockade Battlefront. I don’t even know why it’s named that but, in a nutshell,, New York City has suddenly become the nexus point for multiple dimensions, a city in siege, so to speak. Aliens walk the streets. Explosions roll through the city. Vampires. Ghosts. Just total craziness (i.e. NYC but even a little more crazy). Enter Leonardo Watch, a kid who was blessed/cursed by a god and now has ‘the All-Seeing Eyes of the […]
March 11, 2021

Targeted Saves (DOG EAR)

do a lot of things on my computer. I write short stories. I’m working on two games. I work on some train files. I publish a newsletter. And nothing sucks more than when I’m working on a game and then have to put out the Journal Box newsletter. When I do this then every default save option needs to shift from wherever it was to whatever it is. This might make sense to Micro$oft but not to anyone who uses computers a lot. Think about it. The newsletter is a combination of txt files, word docs, PDFs if submitters are […]
March 4, 2021

Values (DOG EAR)

ince this is a blog about communication and media (and writing), I’ll relate an interesting conversation I heard today. I’d just given my 31st gallon of blood and was treating myself to chicken fingers at Applebee’s. Sat out on the patio a short distance from a young guy and girl who (from the overheard sounds of their conversation) were trying to get to know each other (Working relationship? First date?). They were a bit mismatched – he was a young guy just looking for the next thing he would buy, relating all sorts of stories about other people. And she […]