General Blog

General Blog

November 15, 2011

Nanny State

I’ve mentioned elsewhere I’m a bit of a socialist. I don’t like the idea of fighting my way through the work day, not for promotions, riches and success, but merely to avoid living under a bridge. A women on the other side of the fence from me (politically, not locationally) goes on and on about the “Nanny State”, and how government should not tell people what to do. Well, from my own life-perspective, I’d agree to junking the benefits of civics if only I didn’t see the following… People who refuse to use turn signals or turn on their lights […]
November 13, 2011

Writer’s block

After six weeks of horsing around with the book assembler I’d hired off eLance, we broke off our professional relationship. She ends up with $500. I end up with a bunch of files that are mostly useless. I’m reworking the kindle version now myself – nuts to her. Its like that line out of War of the Worlds, where the narrator sees how little the artilleryman has achieved in his actual plan of digging an underground stronghold for the remnants of man: “…and when I saw the work he had spent a week upon – it was a burrow scarcely […]
November 2, 2011


Had a Halloween party at work the other day. Was told to come up with something scary. So I took a “LIBERAL” shirt. Added a beret with a Mao pin on it. And a sign for “Occupy Maitland Summit” (our building) And a “Quotations of Chairman Mao” little red book (to wave) And let my beard grow ragged. And what does this give you? The scariest thing most people can imagine – a liberal socialist! SCREEAMMM! Actually, when we were told to get up and tell everyone who we were and what our costume was, I said, “I’m Robert, and […]
October 26, 2011

Beetle bugs

I love beetles. The first of the three cars I’ve ever owned was a yellow 73 superbeetle I took to the ends of the Earth (well, Irvine California, but I did the transcon in three days). So now I’ve got a 2000 New Beetle (again, yellow with distinctive bug-about-town bee’s knees). And the love, alas, is fading. I understand that a car 11 years old is going to have problems. But there seems to be this airbag issue (due to a harness under the drivers seat). If you get the light, it’s a grand right out of your pocket. I’ve […]
October 16, 2011

The joys of writing

So this weekend, I had a long slow cold, one that came up on Friday as a fevered flush with minor diarrhea. Normally it would be nothing to worry about unless you were one of the Carthaginian host crossing the Alps in the dead of winter, where if you sank along the side of the muddy trail, you’d be left to die. Or, if you were at work with only a bike. Got home okay, but it was a long ride, and my head pounded through ever pedalstroke. Yet writers have duties. I had to scroll through the latest Kindle […]
October 2, 2011

The writer’s life

Everyone has this dream of being an author. And with self-publishing, it is easier than ever. Well, that’s the story anyway. Been working on the final cut for the physical book of Early ReTyrement. Hired Mercedes from WriteTheWriteStuff off Elance and she’s been a good sport, dealing with a maniac obsessive perfectionist. But that’s what writers are, right? When Hemingway couldn’t have it his way, he blew his brains out. Been through this before. Back when eBooks published Fire and Bronze, they were supposed to (by contract) give me a final pass at the proofs. Well, they did. Kinda. They […]
September 17, 2011


Lunches are usually solitary downtime, generally writing. It’s quiet and peaceful and I get a lot done. I wrote most of Indigo over lunch breaks. So at work I was chatting with Cassandra, a dynamic black woman, about international cuisine, and she bluntly asked if I’d ever had soul food. No, I had to say, I hadn’t. She told me she’d take me to lunch the next day. She brought along Darlene (whom I also have worked with professionally), who is every bit as spontaneous and lively as Cassandra. I had to joke, as we went out to the parking […]
September 12, 2011


By using the Services, you consent to allow Yahoo!’s automated systems to scan and analyze all incoming and outgoing communications content sent and received from your account… I’d not known about this, really not known. Not until the day after Labor Day when my email account was suspended. I searched around online and found references to Yahoo’s doing this – that they scan emails – all emails. In fact, if you are not a yahoo member and post to someone who is, Yahoo looks at it. I found references to people who had jokingly said they’d take the lugnuts off […]
September 10, 2011

A rain to wash away sin…

We had rain coming this weekend. For once, the forecasters had it right. First brush was Friday morning when it poured down at 7:00am. I sat around in my bike clothing trying to get any information – the news channels focused on a distant hurricane and the internet was down. Finally it broke and I risked it – thank goodness for fenders! Got to Orange Avenue and suddenly it was bone dry. The ride home was gusty, rainshafts all around. Made it home rain-dry (but sweaty). Friday evening, it started to rain. I like rain. I love the way it […]
September 10, 2011

Early ReTyrement – final effort

I just posted the commission on Elance for the last work on Early ReTyrement, which is going out into Amazon in hard- and kindle-cover. There is still a lot of work to do, and things keep popping up. For example, in the middle of a Spelunky game I suddenly realized I had no idea how much I wanted to charge. Looked around Amazon and saw books at a wide range of prices. Don’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to how it is determined, so I picked an average – $2.99 for the eBook, $9.99 for the paper one, […]