In Which I Update You on Mundane Things

I Don't Always AimMy foot is feeling fairly good these days. I walk with a very noticeable limp, I cannot drive or walk for any distance without the boot, and my ankle has some weird swelling going on. I have a MD appointment at the end of this month so we’ll see where I’m at but I feel I’ve turned the corner. It’ll be a long road before I can walk properly, let alone exercise by walking, but I feel like progress is being made.

I am now determined to be more careful in my diet. I know I’ve gained weight since breaking my ankle and it is high time to arrest that. I was a dumpling before this, albeit with a decent stamina on the treadmill. My dumpling days are over. So I’m going to watch what I eat now with a goal of being done by next May. That’s ten months with the idea that at some point I’ll be back to regular exercise. Ten months and maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to stand nekid in front of the mirror and see something somewhat respectable.

I am starting to make inroads on writing book two of the trilogy. It’s going as well as can be expected. I will be sending out more queries to more agents this week and next. I’m crossing fingers, holding my thumbs, offering many Shubs and Zulls to be roasted in the depths of the Sloar. Whatever works.

Today, for the first time since the big break, I’m back to playing the guitar. This means everything I did before is pretty much lost, including my calluses. Maybe by late fall I’ll be up to playing a three chord song.

The dog has no immediate plans. The cats have promised me their agenda is to sleep, eat, hunt, and vomit at about the same rate they do now. I expect nothing less.

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Taking a Respite on Caturday


Another weird weather day here western North Dakota. The wind is blowing hard and it’s going to be moderate temps most of the day. It’s mid-July and we should be baking like pizza oven. Instead I’m wearing sweat pants.

Daniel is taking a break from his usual outdoor mayhem and malevolence. He spent most of the night and morning outside. I suppose that there are carcasses outside on the lawn that I’ll have to clean up. When I mowed a few days ago I churned up more than a few bloated birds. That really enhanced the mowing experience. But for now Daniel rests and dreams of murder. The birds and mice can rest as well.

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Bye Bye Johnny


Johnny Winter passed away yesterday at the age of 70. He lived life hard, with a host of bad habits, much like the elder bluesmen he loved and emulated but none of that matters. He was a powerful singer and a mofo of a guitarist. Johnny could play blustering clusters of notes, sweet tender passages, and mighty riffs. He was a monster of rock and blues, an individual voice who could even cover a Dylan song and eclipse the master. RIP you great glorious player.

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Won’t You Come Around to My Point of View


Office Space

I have wasted far too much time the last couple days trying to make our printer work. It’s this massive piece of dog stool from Brother, MFC-J5910DW. It keeps giving us this media error message and refuses to do anything. Twice I contacted the company via support chat and both times they were clueless as to how to reset this thing or remove that message. The company promised to call me but of course they didn’t. On the second chat they even lied about calling me and finding no one home on a day when we were home the entire day.

So I’m done with this fiasco. I’m throwing this thing into the garage and I’ll have to find some way to get the garbage men to take it, even if it means breaking it into pieces ala Office Space. Come to think of it, that might be the most satisfactory end. Where did I put that sledgehammer…

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I’m Trying Oh Great Gaiman, I’m Trying

You should be writing

Today I finished some changes to book one and made the official move back to book two. There were a lot of niggling details I was concerned with and I think I have all of them covered now. Book two is sitting at about 25,000 words or almost a fifth done. The second book of a trilogy is always a strange beast, the connective tissue between the opening fray and the thundering climax. I have a very good idea of where this book is going and what declines and advances each principal character faces. It’s a delicate balance but I think I pulled it off with the first round so there’s no reason it shouldn’t work for the second. So as the Joker said: Here.We.Go.

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Seize the moment, ‘cause tomorrow you might be dead.

Buffy logo

Last night we started a Buffy “rewatch”. We debated whether or not to start with the first season. The first season has always been seen as a weak beginning, especially in light of the greatness that was seasons two and three. Those two are about as good as television gets so it’s hard to watch season one, when the big story arcs have yet to take off and the young actors are on shaky ground. Nonetheless we decided we’d have to begin at the beginning.

The odd thing is, after watching the first three episodes, it’s better that we remembered. The show’s paltry budget is annoying, the directing is shaky, and some of the characters seem a little thin. But Willow pretty much started out on the right foot, SMG was spitting out those one-liners with authority, and the subtext is already growing. I can wait until we get to The Annoying…er, Anointed One.

We’ll probably run through the first five seasons. It’s all we have on DVD and the next two seasons left a bitter taste. But this should be fun. And horrifying. Later Scoobies.

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There are things within us all that can never be unleashed


















We burned through all eight episodes of the new Showtime horror series Penny Dreadful a few weeks ago. I had my doubts. Carjo wanted to see it because it had Reeve Carney in it and she was kinda crushing on him. But after NBC’s wretched Dracula I really didn’t want to subject myself to another rehashing of Victorian horror cliches.

Dracula was particularly wretched. It had some steampunk themes but no focus to them. I have no problem with turning the tropes of Dracula around but to make him an American inventor? That’s sheer idiocy. There was also a plethora of anachronisms that made you want to throw yourself off the nearest bridge, cheesy acting, a mess of a plot, and little sense of style. In other words, a typical broadcast network attempt at genre TV without a clue how to pull it off. Same old, same old.

Penny Dreadful proved to be different. Of course being on Showtime they had no limitations for sex and violence but they had plenty of imagination on how to exploit that freedom. There were some anachronisms but not to the point of constant irritation. A few plot holes and the foreshadowing was sometimes less than subtle. But ye gods, none of those quibbles mattered. The acting was stunning. Rory Kinnear and Timothy Dalton were particularly good, so was Billie Piper and Josh Hartnett. But Eva Green just steals every scene she’s in, spitting out lines with Shakespearean intensity. Her delivery in exchanges like this is breath-taking:

Vaness Ives: Have you imagined for one moment what this has been for me? An unforgivable transgression that has marked me for life. You think you’ve suffered? You think you know blood? You think you’ve walked on corpses? Spread them from here to the horizon, and I have walked further! You weak, foul, lustful, vainglorious felon! How dare you presume to speak to me of death!

Sir Malcolm Murray: Then we shall speak of it together

Penny Dreadful plays with the tropes of things that went bump in the Victorian night but it is the right kind of play. Rarely over the top and mostly true to what the freight to the psyche these issues would truly cost. We can’t weight for season two.

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