General Blog

General Blog

April 11, 2012


I’ve absolutely had it. Look, I’ve only owned three cars in my life, a 73 Superbeetle (which I drove until it was wrecked in ’84), a ’79 280Z and, in 2000, a newly purchased NewBeetle. The NewBeetle I got in the exact same colors as my old one. Even had the grey seats swapped for black ones as part of the purchase deal. And I loved that car. How amazing, the technological changes twenty years make. The car seemed to drive itself. It was fun, it had a sun roof, it was a joy to drive. I even took it […]
April 9, 2012

Product placement

So how about THIS for a little nifty product placement? At work, we have this tree on the wall for the march of dimes. Buy a leaf, have it posted on the tree along with a name of the person it represents. After the first few days, nobody had bought a leaf. Then I got a great idea – purchased a leaf for a dollar and dedicated it to “Mason Trellis”, hero of Early ReTyrement. And now everyone at work who’s read the book is in on the joke, and maybe the buzz will bring out a few more sales. […]
March 31, 2012

UCF Book Festival 2012

Don’t let anyone tell you doing a book show is easy. Up at five AM, out the door and on the road so we could make it early to beat the rush in the door (what rush?). The problem is if you plan for every disaster and there isn’t any, you’ve got a lot of dead time on your hands. Yes, we were set up and staffed for a 9am opening. At 6:30am. Oh well. Fortunately I was boothed next to Rod Sanford, a Florida mystery writer with some shows under his belt. He gave me advice that I found […]
March 28, 2012

Supplies for the book show

So, I’m going to the UCF Book Festival. Got a booth and everything. Chairs are there, table is there, I just need books and a pen, right? My supply list: Cover Art picture (12″x18″) Cover Art easel Sample book Sample book easel Price post sign (for corner of book cover) Scotch tape (to attach price sign to book) Spartan helmet Books (60 of them, in two rolling suitcases) Cash for change ($200 in ones, $300 in fives) Cash box Ipad (borrowed from my brother) Credit card reader Camera (gotta get pictures of this event – needed to charge the battery, […]
March 22, 2012


I don’t know if you caught the original Mike Daisey broadcast on This American Life, where he told about his investigations on Chinese manufacturing jobs and the absolute horrors surrounding them. I remember how riveted I was to it. Then last week there was an ever more striking piece, where TAL interviewed Daisey on allegations that his story was embellished (if not outright fabricated). Just listening to Daisey choke on the followup interview (like the bit in the old Flash Gordon movie where Ming orders a loyal prince to fall on his sword) was gut-clenching. STORY HERE. And now the […]
March 20, 2012

White knucle publishing

While doing Q&A at the SandCastle Read-n-Feed the other week, a nice lady asked me about a snippet of song I used in that cute setup chapter where we learn that this blond-haired guy is not from the past currently described. “Don’t songs have copyrights too?” “That’s a good question,” I answered. “I’ll have to look into that.” And I did when I got home. And the shared writing-forum answer is don’t, don’t, don’t, DON’T!!!! Every blog I read talked about the terrors of being sued, of being raked over the coals for violating copyright. That you should never do […]
March 18, 2012

Night attacks

Version 1.5.26 Preview01Logout Site Menus Content Components Extensions Tools Help Preview Save Apply Close Help Article: [ Change ] Title Night attacks Published No Yes Alias night-attacks Front Page No Yes Section Category Source StylesNormalFontSize An additional benefit of self-publishing seems to be the initiation of night attacks. I used to sleep the sleep of innocence, waking up refreshed in the morning, generally right before the wife would come in with OJ and the paper. Six or seven hours and I’d be fully rested and ready for the new day. And then I started this self-publication effort for Early ReTyrement. […]
March 7, 2012


I’m taking a vacation. Not physically (housebreakers take note). I’m going to mentally relax on the beach of Inconnectivity in the Offline Islands, and just allow my stress to drain away. Outside of my blog and email, I’m really only active in two places – a bike forum and Facebook. The bike forum has been tedious of late – in the biking community there is now a philosophy that you “take the lane”, and ride in the right-wheel track of traffic (if not further left). Look, I’m all for everything ‘further left’, in everything but cycling. Given the roads I commute […]
March 3, 2012

Carney Barker

As mentioned in Moon Landing, we’d been tasked with setting up a carney across thirty parking spaces on the top deck of a garage. That morning, since I was in charge of set-up, I was out on the deck at 6am, chalking down the markers for where all the events would be. Worked at it until 7am, came in and napped at the desk for a bit (I hadn’t slept well – worrying). And then at 8am, I was back topside, helping to arrange things. Of course, the table people couldn’t get their truck up the garage so fourteen tables […]
March 1, 2012

Moon landing

So it’s not like I have enough to do, what with the dozen train club activities (two nights a week), the book stuff (the club I’ll be speaking at, the UCF festival, and the library speech). No, nothing to do. So somehow, I ended up getting drafted into work’s picnic committee. And where are we holding it? On top of a parking garage. The idea is that each of the three orgs gets 30 parking spots to decorate as they see fit. And there will be activities, food, all sorts of stuff. Fun fun fun! And not only am I […]