General Blog

General Blog

April 16, 2011

Italy – Day Zero – Reservations

In the old days (before the internet, when everyone wore funny old clothing and photos were in black and white), people would have gushed about their pending trip abroad, bubbling to friends and family of their destination, itinerary, their hopes and dreams. Of course, now we worry that our wider broadcasts (via facebook and blogs) will result in our doors being pried open and our houses ransacked. So yes, I’ve been quiet online about this. But anyway, about nine months back, my wife and I had been talking to my sister about traveling abroad. First the idea was Morocco but […]
April 1, 2011

April Viral

If there is a day for religious observance for me, it’s this one – April the First. It’s a chance to shake people awake, to pull them from their monotonous lives, to puzzle and puzzle them until their puzzlers are sore. Every year, I try to come up with something fun. This time, I concocted an email posted to all the process leads (those who monitor process at our corporation, rather like the political officer on a Russian submarine (and about as liked, I suppose)) and to my team. I related in the most officious terms possible concerning a new […]
March 30, 2011

Bad work day?

It could have gone better. The day was bad enough. A two-hour corporate Nuremburg Rally with pre-positioned questions and carefully worded answers. Clap clap clap. I have a bunch of things I need to do yet I’m sliding backwards as interruptions hit me like bugs across a windshield. At 2pm, I decided I couldn’t attend the train club – I’d have to work. Then, at 4:30 all hell broke loose. First it was the gust off a squall line that actually shook the building – not something good to experience on the 14th floor. Looked out the window to see […]
March 22, 2011


Last night I read for a bit (The Egyptologist – review coming soon) and went to bed. Nothing special. But suddenly, doing! My mind was spinning. I didn’t even get the benefit of some sort of creative thought process, that guilty pleasure of laying in bed, knowing I’m burning my candle but marveling at the story, the game idea, the train deal, whatever, that’s got my brain afire. Not this time – I was just hypersensitive – I’d hear a motorcycle go past, then a plane, then a train. And owl started to hoot. The wife began to snore. By […]
March 18, 2011

The Game of Life

I’ve worked for corporations for years, as evident from the high-water mark of shit just under my chin. Corporate life can tarnish one’s values and blacken one’s soul. I just try to keep my head down and keep plowing forward in the face of over-regulation, bureaucracy, off-shored stupidity and pervasive executive greed. But still. I can’t go into what set me off this time; regardless of the saying that ‘the mountains are high and the emperor is far away’, his spies are everywhere. A blog with my name is a blog with my name, right? So no details. But as […]
March 12, 2011

Zoom boot!

After a long day, once I’m home, its easy to feel impatient when firing up the computer for fun with games or the net. But my computer’s boot felt sooooo slooooow. Even at the train club, I’d boot up my computer so someone else could use it to dispatch and they’d comment, “It’s taking forever”. And these are old guys; they know what forever means. Funny thing, but I was listening to “AOL Anime” on and the had a tech blurb about Soluto, a freebeeware that allows you to look at what’s booting up with your computer, the ramifications […]
March 9, 2011

Miss me?

Nothing like adversity to make you realize the important things in life. Two weeks ago, my wife caught on that someone had hacked our credit card. There were “kiddy” purchases to online trendy shops (and a damn food delivery service in Albany and a snack bar in a drug rehab shop in Phoenix). Like a horse with a broken leg, we took out our cards and shot them. You really learn what it’s like to be without credit without that card. Everything is in cash. I’m not a five-buck-lunch-run-the-card sort of yuppie, but there was something I wanted to buy […]
February 27, 2011

Be Safe

“Be safe”. How many times do you hear this? When you’re heading out for a weekend. Driving further than 50 miles. Going anywhere. Doing anything. Be Safe. Please. I beg of you! When did Americans become such cowards? When people hear I bike to work (with full lights and safety equipment along a route I carefully scouted) they become paralyzed with fear, equating what I am doing to riding a bike across Niagara falls on a cable. Trips abroad, the same thing. It’s always the cringing fear of terrorists, of criminals, of disease, of discomfort, of sadness, of disappointment, of […]
February 19, 2011

New York, NY, 10011

In movies, writers always cruise trendy clubs on a Saturday night, dispensing witty conversation and sizzling truth, a girl on each arm. Me? This Saturday night I’m working out submissions. It’s the routine, the group of three. Go through the guide, read the agency bios, perhaps poke them out online. Date the submission effort (directly in the book – why not?) and paperclip the page to mark it. Now it’s time to start the printing press. Three agency letters (careful, don’t mix the names). Set them on the floor next to the desk. After each letter, kick out a SASE […]
February 18, 2011

Early Retyrement done (almost)

Got through the last page of Early Retyrement (my exercise in republishing) last night at 12:30am, meaning I’m going to feel it today (yes, I rode in). Its done and ready to go to the Kindle. Well,except for the editing passes. And the conversion to their file type. And the copyright. And the ISBN. And the cover art. And getting it out posted up. And blogging the heck out of it. But still, its in better shape then a week ago. I’ll be pushing the first chapter when my unpaid editing staff approves of it and tossing up the cover […]