Tuesday, October 31, 2017

So, It's Halloween

There are no decorations on my lawn.  There is no pumpkin in the window.  There are no fun-sized, hermetically sealed Snickers in my house ready to pass out to hopeful children.  Hell, there are no hopeful children in my neighborhood.  Well, the neighbor's grandkids are here most days, but if they're hoping for candy, they'd better be driving somewhere else.  If their mom was smart, she took them to one of the area 'trunk n treat' events over the weekend and they've already scored.

Halloween isn't what it used to be.

I don't remember my childhood for the most part, but I imagine Halloweens filled with children running from house to house getting goodies.  It was dark and cold.  (I grew up in Michigan, folks.)  But it wasn't scary.  It was fun. 

And then we'd go home and Dad would inspect all our candy for issues.  We weren't allowed toeat any of it until he pronounced it safe.  Yeah, it was the '70s, but even then, there were rumors of candy-tampering.  Razor blades in apples.  Pins in candybars.  I don't know if Dad ever found anything hinky.  I do know we wouldn't have been allowed to eat anything homemade unless we could tell him exactly which person put it into our bag.  And if he didn't know the person, it went into the trash.  Better safe than sorry. 

I passed out candy when we lived in town.  We never got very many kids by the house - the golf course subdivision gave out better candy than any neighborhood we resided in.  Still, we got plenty.  And most of them were good kids.  A few turds, but nothing to ruin the entire holiday. 

Not sure what it looks like out there in Halloween land these days.  Certain costumes you can't wear because someone somewhere might be offended.  (I have an old picture of some family kids in their Halloween finest.  One cousin is dressed as Aunt Jemima - complete with blackface.  Hey, it was the '40s, when no one really got their undies in a wad.)  Trick or treating is held in broad daylight so no kid gets lost in the dark or gets stolen or gets... whatever'd.  There are these 'trunk or treat' things, where kids can march from car to car, getting stuff thrown in their bags.  What fun that must be. 

I don't know.  I guess the world we live in makes it this way.  I don't have any kids of an age to care about Halloween anymore.  Mine's 24 and she's off doing her thing.  And I'm kind of glad because Halloween this new way makes me sad. 

So, for me, today is just another day - only with more scary movies on TV.

Do you have any plans for tonight?  Or did you do your Halloween thing over the weekend?  What's your favorite go-to treat for Halloween?  Mine's always been Snickers, btw.  =o)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 43

Wow, that week went by fast.  Blerg.

First off, the new keyboard is a little crazymaking.  The backspace key and the home key are too close together so I find myself wanting to backspace, hitting the home, and disappearing letters I did not want to disappear.  Miss left and I get a line of \\\\, miss right and whoosh, letters are gone.  Argh.  This too shall pass as I get used to this damn thing, but writing with it is a challenge right now.

Speaking of which, I did write last night.  I'm this close to THE END.  Have to wrap up the climax and do the denouement.  I should have this done by the end of the month, which was my 'drop dead' date. 

I'm going to treat myself by doing genealogy in November, I think.  I don't deserve a break, but I think I need one.  Make it NaNoChillMo or something.  I might edit, but I'm not promising anything.

In reading news, I finished the 2nd Sleepy Hollow book and inhaled the 3rd one right after.  Cliffhanger on the 2nd, doncha know.  Impressive books.  Super fun to read.  Totally gripping.  I also read a Mickey Spillane.  Awesome stuff.  Natch.

Fishing was a non-issue last week.  I had personal things going on that precluded me going too far from the phone for too long.  It all wrapped up by Thursday night, so I went Friday morning, but the fish weren't biting and I was freezing my ever-widening ass off, so I left.

Oh, before I forget, I have a sale starting tomorrow.  Get the Dennis Haggarty Mysteries for 99c each tomorrow through Friday.  (Crap, I forgot to set the UK Countdown.)  Just kind of one of those SURPRISE sales that I didn't plan for until the last minute.  So it'll be a mostly unadvertised sale, since it's too late to get any ads.  =oO

Got our notice from the insurance company that they're jacking up our rates again.  Awesome.  NOT.  Our health insurance now accounts for almost 50% of our entire yearly budget.  Arghle.  I'd like to find the many politicians who did this and hold their heads in the septic tank until they make it stop.

On a less-irritating note, the big oak has dropped so many acorns that my driveway has a weird pattern to it now.  So many little round balls.  Everywhere.  Hubs keeps sweeping them off the concrete, but the gravel part is a sea of acorns.  So's the grass, but it's less noticeable there.  I'd pick them up and leave the piles for the deer, but they're so glutted with acorns, they no longer care.

Speaking of deer, we got a new buck in the yard yesterday.  We're calling him Snap, because one side of his rack is snapped off.  So, we have Oliver (the skinny orphan), Sym (the symmetrical racked one), Six (duh), and Snap.  No sign of the bigger bucks we saw last year.  And we have about 9 does and girl fawns.   Oh, and I almost forgot about the button buck.  So five bucks and nine does/girl fawns.  Not a bad herd.

And I'm spent.  What's up in your world?

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 10/28/17

Hello and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.

Not much to say this week.  Because of life stuff, I only went out once.  It was 42F and windy as hell.  I tried worms and lures, but nothing was biting.  After about 90 minutes, I went home.

Hubs laughed and called me a 'die hard fisherman' when I headed out.  We both knew I wouldn't catch anything, but that really wasn't the point.  I needed to get out and sit by the lake for a while.  Rejuvenation.  He understands that, which was why he didn't try to discourage me.  It was the first chance I'd had to get out all week and I was taking it.

And I do feel rejuvenated today.  Yay!

That's it for me this week.  Who knows what the coming week will bring.  Warmer temperatures maybe.  But too much warmer.  I want the water to get cool, so fall fishing can begin and I can start catching keepers again.  I need fish in my belly.  ;o)

If you get a chance, get outside some time this week.  And not just for trick-or-treating. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Substance Abuse Prevention

Yesterday the President rolled out something about drug abuse prevention.  Admirable.  Scrolling though the newsfeed about it, I saw people bitching.  Expected.  One person in particular struck me as particularly stupid when they said something about alcohol abuse and opioid abuse not being the same thing.  Well, I guess if you think mandarin oranges and navel oranges aren't the same things, then you might be able to make a case there.  From my perspective, an orange is an orange is an orange.  Substance abuse is substance abuse is... you get the picture.

It doesn't matter what substance you're abusing, the root is the same - trying to blank out reality. 

Trump's thing, like I said, is admirable.  Foolhardy perhaps, but admirable.  Why foolhardy?  Because you can't get people to stop trying to blank out by telling them to not do drugs or drink.  Somehow, somewhere in their existence, they've been told that reality is bad and they've discovered that there are remedies for that.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I don't think most people take their first drink or smoke their first joint or snort their first line because they're looking for the blank-out.  Maybe they start because someone told them it would make them feel awesome or relax them or help them beat stress.  Hell, that's why I started smoking - to combat stress.  It's probably also why I started drinking, but I started drinking way before I started smoking and I can't remember back that far.  All I remember is that I drank, a lot, and more when I was under duress. 

I tried pot because my pothead friends made it seem awesome. It wasn't.  At all.  Huge bouts of technicolor yawning both times.  Twice was more than enough to make me stop.  It never made me stop drinking, though.  Weird.  And so stupid.

The first time I got totally drunk, I was 16.  Drunk and sick like a dog who's eaten rancid garbage.  Didn't stop me.  Maybe because for a time before that, I was totally awesome.  Bright and shiny and outgoing and popular.  Well, popular until the big sick.  Then I was only popular to one boy who kept me company in the dark of my friend's bedroom.  (Nothing happened. I think.)

It wasn't the first time I drank.  It was just the first time I got blotto.  I think the first time I drank alcohol had to do with a particularly pissy day at school and my father's limited stash of booze.  Vodka, maybe?  A little dribble in the bottom of a glass with some OJ.  I thought it would make the day less bad.  It probably did. 

I might've been thirteen.  Thirteen and totally unequipped to deal with what was bothering me on any real level.  And so it started.  20+ years of trying to whitewash things I was unable to deal with.  Drink and forget about whatever was bothering me.  Tada.  It didn't make the problems go away.  It never does.  It just made me forget about them for a while.  Sometimes, it caused more problems in the aftermath - like the night when I got dumped and decided to drink until it didn't hurt anymore.  I got alcohol poisoning and was sick for 3 days - on top of being heartbroken.  Weee.

This is, of course, all anecdotal.  Still, I expect the stories of so many others aren't that different.  All trying to escape reality like reality is at fault for all our problems.  And if we can just escape it or avoid it, everything will be fine. 

That's what we need to fight - the mindset that leads to wanting to blank out which leads to substance abuse.  I'm not sure it's possible in this day and age.  :shrug:  I changed my own mindset long before I quit drinking.  I no longer needed to get drunk, but I still drank.  One or two a night.  I just petered off over the course of years until I realized I didn't need it anymore and then I realized I actually didn't want it anymore. 

So, while wanting to fight the cycle of substance abuse is admirable, it's foolhardy to think we can stop it with slogans or initiatives or laws.  Stop it with a change in philosophy and culture.  Stop it by showing your children that alcohol and drugs aren't necessary and that life is awesome without them, and that we can solve our problems without artificial help.   If we can do that, maybe someday we can reverse the tide. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Thursday This n That

Due to circumstances, I have been kind of absent - both mentally and digitally - lately.  I hope to clear this all up by next week.

The books I've been reading have made it so I will never look at the Headless Horseman the same way ever again.  And there are images of him everywhere right now.  :shudder:  If you want a spooky, but fun, read for Halloween, snap up the Sleepy Hollow books by Richard Gleaves. 

Someone.... I think it was Silver... asked on their blog yesterday what our fears are.  I had a tough time coming up with something.  I mean, my go-to answer has been 'moths' for years, but as I was sitting there trying to think of what scares me, I realized that my efforts to scrub away the moth fear have been successful.  I mean, I still don't want them on me when I'm unprepared, but I can look at them and touch them without going all 'super ninja warrior dance party'.  I'm not afraid of heights - but I do get vertigo (which sucks).  I'm not afraid of spiders.  I'm not afraid of the dark.  I still cannot have anything over my face when I'm sleeping - so I guess, fear of suffocation?  :shrug:  I'm not fearless by any stretch of the imagination, but I think I'm done with phobias for the most part.

I am not a patient person.  I hate waiting.  For anything.  I was bad before I started writing, but all those years of waiting on queries and submissions almost killed the last of the patience I had.  I want it and I want it now.  I will wait for stuff, if I have to, but I don't have to like it.

The above makes Christmas interesting.  When Hubs asks me what I want for Christmas, the answer is always nothing.  I don't need anything and whatever I want, I get without having to wait for December 25th.  (And if I needed anything, I wouldn't wait for it either.) 

Speaking of Christmas, what the hell?  All the stores I go to already have Christmas crap out - and have for a week or two at least.  The state of MO is already selling Christmas scratch off lottery tickets.  It gets earlier every year.  It's Christmas, people.  DECEMBER.  Or at least wait until after Thanksgiving for petesakes.  Before Halloween?  NO.

I haven't bought any Halloween candy this year and I probably won't.  We never get kids stopping by the house, but I used to buy it for Hubs and I.  This year?  Nah.  We have plenty of goodies in the house without the big bowl of candybars on the dining room table.  Maybe when they have the after-Halloween candy discounts.  I can't resist those sales.  Candycandycandy.

Okay, that's more than enough out of me.  What have you got for me?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 42

Ten weeks left in the year and time for another Sunday Update.

I bought a new keyboard this week.  The HP keyboard I was using had its letters rubbed off way too quick and the spacebar was sticking.  Bleh.  I bought the cheapest keyboard Wallyworld carries to replace it. Other than a very slight wobble, it's working fine.  And my only gripe is that the backspace key is slightly farther right than my old keyboard, so when I go to backspace I often hit the \ instead.  I'll get used to it.

I tried to write yesterday.  I opened Early Grave and stared at the last few paragraphs.  I made a slight edit.  Then I stared at it some more.  I stared at it several times throughout the day.  I closed it down before bed.  Bleh.

I'm reading the second book in a series where I loved the first book, and I'm loving this one, too.  Sleepy Hollow: Bridge of Bones (Jason Crane #2) by Richard Gleaves.  It's a paranormal YA with suspense and horror, I guess.  Edge of my seat here, people.  If you're looking for something in the Halloween spirit to read, definitely pick these books up.  (I think the third book just released.)  I also read the second book in a SF series and a literary novel.  I raised my reading goal to 90 books earlier this month and I'm already at 76 for the year, so it's all good.  Of course, if I was writing more, I'd be reading less, so I'm not sure how happy I should be about all the reading time I have.  =o\

Fishing was unproductive this week, but the area is so pretty.  I love Fall almost as much as I love Spring. 

Yesterday, I saw a yellow-bellied sapsucker.  They're back for the winter!  Yay! 

I'm debating contacting my editor and making an inquiry into getting one of my older books edited.  I mean, I've edited it to the point where it was once in the query machine, so it's not a hot mess.  But it's not publication ready either.  It's not a typical book based on what I've put out so far. Then again, neither was Blood Flow and I went ahead with that.  (To good reviews, but poor sales.)  So, do I go ahead with that and maybe have something for readers sooner or do I plod ahead with one of my newer books in the hopes it will be ready sometime next Spring?  :shrug:

And that's it for me today.  What's up in your worlds?

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 10/21/17

Hey All, and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.  Sorry I didn't post last week, but there really wasn't much to talk about.  Caught some bluegills a couple times and got skunked once.  Woohoo. 

Anyway, here we are again.  I went fishing several times this past week with more of the same.  Even though the air temps are dropping the water is still too warm to accomplish much from the shore. 

I have been trying lures and fake baits again.  Once this past week, I got what I thought was a bite, but since I didn't seal the deal, I can't be sure.  I do know that I scared the crap out of a big bass who was hanging out in a hole in the ledges.  He shot out of there so fast he didn't bother to take the under-ledge route and went over the top in about 8" of water.  Off into the deeper water.  Bummer.  I want to say he was about 18".  I guess he didn't appreciate the chartreuse worm I dangled in his hidey-hole. 

Here's a picture I took of the spot June 2016 when the water level was about the same:
He was hiding in the lower hole and zoomed out over that rock.

Yesterday afternoon, I went out to the go-to spot in the afternoon.  It was gloriously cloudy when I left home, but in the ten minutes it took me to get to the spot, the sun had come out.  Which was okay.  It was still pretty good and the wind was making delicious waves upon the water.  I only caught two bluegills, but I had a good time.  An osprey carrying a 7-8" bluegill flew right over the top of me, which was cool. 

A curious thing happened while I was out there that doesn't have anything to do with fishing but a great deal to do with using public lands.  As I was sitting on the ledges fishing, a couple arrived on their utility vehicle (heavy duty golf cart?).  They apologized for bothering me and then the gal tells me she's almost finished with her fire pit and the flat shelf rocks there are just perfect.  Then they proceed to load about a dozen large (12-24" diameter, 2-3" thick) rocks onto their vehicle and drive away, just as happy as clams.

Umm, steal much?

Public lands are just that - public.  Which means they are for everyone.  Not a single individual's personal use.  Part of what makes these places so pretty are all the rocks.  And now, instead of everyone getting to enjoy those rocks, they're sitting in her backyard somewhere.  I wonder if she'll let me visit them, you know since they belong to me and everyone else who pays taxes and stuff.  People like that are as bad as the ones who leave trash all over the place, in my opinion.  Respect the land, people.  Leave it like you found it, unless you're doing something to improve it.  (Cleaning up after numbnuts, cutting deadfall out of the way, moving flood detritus, etc.)  And 'public' doesn't mean you can do anything you want with it.  Technically, that land belongs to the Army Corps of Engineers, and if they think people are misusing the area, they will close it down.  Which would be a shame and seriously piss me off.

'Nuff said.  Get out sometime this week, if you can, and enjoy the Fall. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thursday This n That

I have a new idea.  Every time I think about eating when it isn't time to eat, I need to get up and clean something.  We'll see if I implement this today.  Either I'll have an incredibly clean house, or because I hate cleaning so much, I'll stop thinking about eating just to avoid it.  ;o)

Computer glitches irritate the crap out of me, especially when they aren't on my end and I can't do anything about them.  And I need to go figure out Google Chrome because it's giving someone else an error and I need to learn how to explain over the phone how to fix it when I have no experience with Google Chrome.  Why do computer/software companies have to make everything so damn difficult in their quest to make everything 'easy'?  Argh.

Right now, I'm reading a novel by Anne Morrow Lindbergh - Charles Lindbergh's wife.  Yeah, I didn't know she wrote fiction either.  Apparently at least 3 books, because the one I'm reading mentions two others on the cover.  I'm about halfway through this one. So far, it's pretty good.  Well written, definitely.  She really puts me in the character, if you know what I mean.  I hope it all comes together and ends well.  It would suck if this doesn't end well, since she's gotten me kind of attached to the main character.

Thinking about the above, I realized that I like reading unexpected books.  A novel by a famous aviator, a novel by a famous jockey, a mystery by a man known for SF.  And I have a novel by Winston Churchill I keep meaning to read.  By the way, if you haven't read it, Willie the Shoe's (Bill Shoemaker) novel is pretty good.  I don't have it anymore and I don't remember the title, but it shouldn't be hard to find.  Have you ever read a novel by someone you wouldn't have expected to write fiction?  It kinda tickles me.

I need a new keyboard again.  This HP one's letters rubbed off way fast.  And the space bar keeps sticking.  Bleh.  Oh, and I have to pick up a new mouse for Hubs.  His right click button only works intermittently.  Oh well, at least they aren't major purchases.  But still...

What's on your this n that radar today?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Yesterday's Negatives and Positives.

You ever have one of those mornings where it feels like someone was beating you with a big stick while you slept?  Yeah, it's one of those mornings for me.  And I didn't do anything yesterday that would warrant feeling like I'd been thrashed.

I think maybe it's the sudden drop in temperatures here combined with how totally discombobulated my body is from past thrashings.  It was 87 on Saturday and 66 on Sunday.  Bleh.  That's sure to make me feel like I've been run over by a subcompact. 

Part of it could be that I spent the majority of yesterday hunched over either my keyboard or a book.  Hunched over is not a good way to treat your body.

Oh, I did take a walk yesterday.  Which could be part of it, too, since I'm out of shape after the 7 weeks of not walking. 

On a positive note, I am so happy the temps are finally dropping.  We're still a bit above normal for this time of year, but it's way better than in the upper eighties.  I feel so much better in cooler temperatures - once my body acclimates.  Plus, lower temperatures make for better fishing.

Also, I'm happy to have spent yesterday hunched over my keyboard.  I wasn't writing, but I was working and it feels good to be productive at something - especially when the writing isn't cooperating.  And hunched over a book is always a good place to be. 

Lastly, the walk was gorgeous.  The day was cool.  The trees are starting to turn.  The birds are flitting all over and a breeze was blowing, making neat shadows on the ground.  So we walked farther than I probably should've.  :shrug:  I'd do it again and my damn ankle can just get over it.

See?  Negatives and Positives.  It's all how you look at it.  I'm still achy, but now I'm happier about the reasons. 

What are some negatives and positives for you today?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 41

Hidey-ho.  It's Sunday again.  And I'm like where did the week go?

It sure as hell didn't go to much writing.  Early Grave is stalled again - this time at 56237.  I just can't seem to get this ball rolling again.  And then yesterday a little voice in my head said, "You should've written this from Lynn's POV, not Ned's".  And I ran screaming.  After I came back, I had a mental debate with myself and considered the idea from various angles.  The decision?  It's in Ned's POV and it's staying there.  I mean, I'll put more Lynn in and everything, but the main POV in this has to be Ned's or if doesn't work.  Plus, rewriting this whole damn book would take a NaNoWriMo level of effort and I'd really like to conserve those for new books.

Speaking of NaNo... I don't know if I'm going to do anything for it this year.  I have other things I should be concentrating on next month.

Reading... I've been reading one book and I'm not done yet.  Maybe today.  It's a 400+ page SF and it's taking time.

I didn't do a fishing report yesterday because there really wasn't much to talk about.  Caught some little panfish, but nothing to blow your skirt up.

In other work, I got the direction I needed to do those spreadsheets right.  (At least I hope I got them right.  The big boss will tell me if I didn't.)  It's not hard, just a little laborious.  It'll all go faster once I get some of this stuff automatized in my head.

I'm getting the genealogy bug again.  I did a little googling, but I'm not ready to commit to a month of it (which is what I have to do once I pay for Ancestry.com).  I did find the actual name for my mom's great aunt's twin sister who died at birth, so that's something.  And where first cousin twice removed Fred is buried.  I wish I could read German, so I could access all those records to complete Dad's side of the tree.  Bleh.

I've been picking up acorns for the deer.  So many acorns this year.  Oberon - the fairy oak in my front yard - is dumping them by the bucketful all over the yard.  I predict dozens of seedlings in my gardens next spring.  Ugh.  Anyway, it's good exercise.  Or something.  I guess.

Okay, that's it for me.  Not sure what this week will hold.  What's up with you?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thursday This n That

I made what I thought was incredibly witty joke about Hurricane Ophelia headed for the Moors yesterday morning.  I laughed.  Hubs laughed.  Then I realized I had made a critical error in my Shakespeare.  Desdemona not Ophelia.  Derp.  Thankfully, I caught myself before I posted the wit online.  In my defense, I had only had one cup of coffee.  One should not attempt Shakespearean jokes when one is caffeine deficient.  (In his defense, Hubs was also low on coffee and also he laughs at most of my jokes - even when he isn't listening.)

Laughter really does make a marriage better.  Even when stuff gets bad, we can usually find something to laugh about.  (Good laughter - not at each other's expense.  Ever.)  Thirteen and a half years and going strong.

I saw a pair of birds while I was out at the lake on Tuesday.  They flew over me making an unholy racket similar to that of a Great Blue Heron.  Gull shaped silhouette with gull coloring against the gray sky, but about the size of an Osprey (larger than typical gull wingspan).  Still not sure what the hell they were.  :shrug:

I read a book earlier this year that I really loved, but I didn't have it in the budget to buy the sequel.  Joy of joys, the author put book two as free yesterday.  Huzzah!  And I feel really bad about not paying for it, so I'll be chatting it up after I read it.  Fingers crossed it's as good as the first book.

If you've ever tried my cake cookie recipe, try this... Make the recipe according to directions (box cake mix, 2 eggs, 1.2 cup veg oil, whatever additions you like).  Stir it all together and then instead of making drop cookies, smush it all into the bottom of a greased 8x10" pan.  Bake at 350F for about 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through in the center.  Cut into bars.  I used chocolate cake and peanut butter chips.  OMG, so good served warm with ice cream. 

Okay, that's it for me.  What have you got?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


DNF... Did Not Finish.  Which is pretty sad, if you ask me.  I hate not finishing books - especially ones I paid for.  Bleh.

I'm pretty good about finishing the books I start.  I think that's because I'm pretty good at picking the books I grab to read.  But every once in a while, I start a book I can't or won't finish.

Sometimes it's only a page or two in.  And, most of the time, it's not because those pages didn't grab me.  Usually it's because the author has done something to irritate me in the first couple pages.  If you're already annoying me so close to the beginning, it doesn't bode well for my enjoyment of the rest of the book.  The other day I started a book and in the first few paragraphs I was like 'nope, don't want to be preached at for 400+ pages.'

Sometimes it's farther in.  That might be for various reasons - I learn something annoying that I can't get past, there are so many editing errors my brain is starting to hurt, I've discovered the main character is too stupid to live... Those kinds of things.  I DNF'd a book yesterday that was gripping and well written and the MC was smart, but the author had ratched up the squick factor so high, it was stop reading or have those scenes imprinted on my brain for all eternity.  Which was too bad because, like I said, it was a very gripping story.  :shrug:

There are books over the past 43 years I probably should not have finished for that exact reason.  They're in my head and they always will be.  (And movies I should've never watched.  :shudder:)

Anyway, I've DNF'd more books this month that usual and it's early in October yet.  That comes from trying new things, I guess.  I'm not going to stop trying new authors and new books, though.  I'll just chalk it up to being the price I pay for expanding my horizons.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, you'll almost never see exactly which books I DNF'd.  I don't review them.  And if I've already said I was reading it in Goodreads, I'll usually delete the book from my library so it doesn't look like I've DNF'd it.  Whoever the author is, they don't need that kind of negative press from me.  Chances are good that whatever made me put the book down wouldn't be the same experience for other readers. 

What makes you put a book down?  Have you had any of those recently?  (No identifying stuff about the books, please.  We're just chatting about the act of DNF'ing.)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 40?

Are there really only 12 weeks left in the year?  No, really, I have no clue.  And I'm too lazy to look it up.  If so, then wow.

Okay, last week...  Hmm...

Well, here's the thing.  I have writer's block - or as I like to call it, a case of the squirms.  I finally admitted that to myself a couple days ago.  I can't see my way through the end of this damn book.  Which pretty much means I screwed something up in the storyline somewhere along the way.  I went back and snipped some lame stuff, but that didn't help.  I thought about jumping to another story, but as long as Early Grave site there 90% finished, my brain refuses to think about anything else.  Finish this or you get nothing.  Ugh.  This will pass.  It always does.  I may just sit down and force myself to write the most outlandish ending I can think of, pages of totally weird crap, and explode my way out of the block.  We'll see.

I read three books last week.  I read another Cat Who book.  It was okay, but I'm at the point where I'm missing installments and I got a little lost with this one, having skipped one.  Oh well.  Also, Silver James' The Cowboy's Christmas Proposition released and I inhaled it.  And then I picked up a new-to-me, under appreciated author in a SF/F vein.  The Defender of Rebel Falls by Erik Christensen.  It was really interesting.  FYI, though, I had a slight formatting issue on my Kindle Fire, but it was fine on my old Kindle.  It might've been my device. Download at your own risk.

Fishing happened.  And I scored an awesome rig at the thrift store.  Nice pole with an Abu Garcia reel for only $11.25.  Yesterday, Hubs swapped my baitcaster onto the new pole and put the new/old reel on my old pole.  (The old pole needs a repair, but I have to score some superglue first.)

I went for a walk.  Not usually a task worthy of updating, but I haven't gone for a walk since I screwed up my ankle 7 weeks ago.  We didn't go super far, but it worked, so it's all good.

Sunday, I wanted to make a cake for Hubs, but he didn't want a cake, and after some thought, I didn't feel like cake either, so I made cake mix cookies.  Except I was too lazy to make them as drop cookies.  I smushed the batter into an 8x10" pan and turned out a batch of bar cookies... brownies... something.  They were awesome.  Devil's Food cake with peanut butter chips.  Warm with ice cream.  OMG. I also made spaghetti with a sauce worthy of writing it down.  Banner food week, I guess.

Okay, I think that's it.  There could've been other stuff, but I'm brain dead.  What's new with you?

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 10/7/17

Hello and welcome once again to the Saturday Fishing Report brought to you today by Folgers* and Misty*.  Later this morning I might be sponsored by donuts.

Started the week out last Sunday.  Fishing in the morning.  Caught a couple little bluegills, but it was hard going. 

Tuesday - Caught 3 bluegills and a punkinseed.  All of them around 5-6".  This was the largest punkinseed I've caught here.  I had despaired of ever catching a punkinseed larger than bait, but the bigger ones have to be out there somewhere.  The 5" wasn't big enough to eat, but there's hope.

Wednesday - Caught 2 bluegills and a green sunfish.  Again, all 5-6".  If you've never seen a green sunfish, they're kind of what you might imagine happening if a perch, a bluegill, and a punkinseed had babies.  Pretty fish and good fighters.  Can't wait to catch one large enough to eat.  Last year I caught a 9" one, but I didn't know what it was at the time and I didn't want to keep something under the length limit, so I put it back.  After I got home, I looked it up online and wanted to kick myself. 

The lake water is still pretty warm and most of the bigger fish are deep.  And the ones that aren't deep aren't interested in my worms or my lures.  But I'll keep trying.

Oh!  Almost forgot.  I did go back to the thrift store and buy that rod/reel.  It was $15, but they had a 25% off sale, so I got it for $11.25.  The rod is a Southbend Eclipse and the reel is an Abu Garcia Cardinal ProMax3.  Score!  Spent time trying them out this morning and they work like a dream.  Double Score!

See ya next week.  In the meantime, get outside for a while.  Go for a drive.  Sit by a lake.  Soak up the sun.  Walk around your yard.  Something. 

*I am in no way endorsed by these brands, but without them I could not continue to be a functioning human being.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thursday This n That

I discovered the show 'Forged in Fire' recently.  I'd seen commercials for it and I thought it would be stupid, but then one day when nothing else was on, I thought I'd give it a whirl.  I love it.  "This blade will keel."  Hehehe.  The new episode on Tuesday Night - the international competition - was awesome.  Four people from different countries competing against each other to make blades and win $10K.  And they were competing while being good people.  I get so sick of competition shows where the competitors are assholes to each other.

I finally sat through most of Jurassic World last night.  I'd watched part of it before and I thought it was lame.  But I thought I'd give it a whirl - because nothing else was on.  Yep, it was still lame.  Velociraptors with cameras strapped to their heads?  Why not sea bass with lasers ala Austin Powers?  I was rooting for the dinosaurs to eat most of the characters.  I liked the one tech geek with the plastic dinosaurs on his desk and the black guy assistant to the hero.  I know the tech geek lived and I hope the other dude lived, too.  Everyone else deserved to get munched upon for they are crunchy and good even without ketchup.  I had hoped BD Wong's helicopter would get eaten by the big fish-dino, but no such luck - thus setting up the chance at another sequel that should never ever be made.  Dr. Crichton had to be spinning in his grave over this one.

I was out at the lake the other day when this young dude stumbled upon me, much to his surprise.  He recovered well, but as he was attempting to make unnecessary small talk, he happened to say 'the lake is really low right now'.  I couldn't help myself - I scoffed aloud.  (I have a bad habit of scoffing aloud.)  After he shot me a look, I explained the reality of it - the lake is normal right now at 916, low was earlier in the year when it was 906 - which probably didn't help my case.  Then he said 'oh yeah, it was really low last summer' - which didn't help his case.  If he knew it was way lower last year, why did he say it was low now???  :eyeroll: Uncle Hank preserve me from inane small talk.

Another time I was at the lake and a couple of older women rolled up in their all terrain vehicle.  They asked how the fishing was going and I told them I'd caught a few little bluegills.  One of them said 'well, that's something', to which I replied 'yeah, it's better than getting skunked'.  Then the lady said "And there's less stink."  And we all laughed.  That kind of small talk I can deal with.

I run across some odd people.  About two months ago, I arrived at the bait shop and parked beside a car that looked as if it had been in some kind of major roll over accident.  Inside, a heavyset, grungy looking dude was chatting with my bait gal.  I walked back and got my worms.  When I took them to the register, the dude said goodbye and left, at which point my gal thanks me profusely for showing up when I did.  I didn't think anything of it until later.  Anyway, dude gets into his craptastic car with the shattered windshield and drives off.  I thanked my lucky stars he went the opposite direction from where I was going.  I realized later that bait gal was thanking me for my presence because it encouraged the dude to leave.  Flash forward to today.  I'm driving home from fishing and I see the dude driving toward me!  The car looked exactly the same!  Shattered windshield, missing bumpers, doors caved in.  :shudder:  How he hasn't been stopped and ticketed and had that piece of crap towed away is beyond me.

Okay, you've stuck with me this long and I thank you, but I'll let you get back to your day.  Have an awesome one!  And tell me what little this-n-thats you have for me.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Problem of Basic Philosophy

I really had intended to post yesterday.  Then I woke up and read the news. 

I'm still kind of stalled.  There are things I could say.  I could rant and rail and shriek.  I could wave my arms.  I was silent yesterday.  Pissed, but silent.  Because as angry as I am, there is nothing I can do.  There's not really anything any of us can do.

In no time at all, there were people screaming about outlawing guns.  (And apparently, according to a famous woman, silencers because silencers kill more people somehow.)  Yeah, that's worked so well in places where there is already anti-gun legislation.  Anyone sufficiently motivated to slaughter other people really isn't going to give a rat's furry white ass about the legality of acquiring weapons.  And if all guns were suddenly disappeared from the planet, they would build bombs out of common household items and slaughter people that way.  Or knives.  Or sticks and rocks.  Their bare hands... You get the drift.

It's not a problem of weapons.  It's a problem of basic philosophy.

And that's a problem that took decades to create, so it will take decades to fix.  If there was actually any kind of impetus to fix the problem, that is.  I don't honestly think there is. 

I certainly don't know how to do it.  I'm sure y'all don't know the answer either.  We all live our lives to the best of our abilities.  We've raised our children as well as we could.  We live lives of obeying the laws, keeping our hands to ourselves, and valuing our fellow man - sometimes even when he's being a shithead.  We're nice to strangers, or if we can't be nice, we're civil.  

How to convey that kind of philosophy to the growing number of shitheads and whackadoodles escapes me.

The only other way to stop things like this from happening is to live in a total police state where everything we do and everything we say is watched, and everything is outlawed but the things the state deems 'safe'.  I'm not willing to go there.

Actually, for the foreseeable future, I'm not willing to go anywhere.  No cities.  No crowds of people beyond what I encounter at Wallyworld - and even then, I'm constantly vigilant.  No freeways.  No airplanes.  No parks.  No monuments.  If you want to see us, you'll have to come here because we sure as hell aren't going there.  And if we want to see the sights, we have the internet.  With some of the technology out there, we can walk around pretty much anyplace we'd like to see without leaving the comfort and safety of our home.

Yes, the writer has gone full hermit.  See you around the interwebs - because the outside world has a profusion of bad philosophy and I want to live.

Stay safe out there, my friends.  :hugs:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 39

It's Sunday again.  I have not had enough coffee.  I always say I'm going to write these posts Saturday night, but I never do and so here you are again having to deal with me on too little caffeine and not enough sleep.  Oh, joy.

Heh, be glad you're out there and not actually here. 

Anywhohahway, I did some writing last week.  About 5K words worth.  Then I hit a snag where the lead up to the climax was super duper lame and I'd written myself into 'the corner of no return' and I couldn't see my way to the climax.  I've been trying to write notes to myself to jiggle something loose.  I think I might've figured it out so I can write tonight.  It's lame, too, but at least I can get words on the page.  I can fix lame later.

Not much writerly happened otherwise. 

I read some stuff.  The Time Machine by HG Wells and The Cat Who Tailed a Thief by Lillian Jackson Braun.  Then I started a couple books and put them down because meh.  I picked up an old paperback by Phyllis Whitney I'd recently bought and was looking forward to reading, only to find the first ten pages are missing.  Argh.  I grabbed a Terry Brooks I'd snagged at the thrift store only to find it was the third book and it started poorly.  So, last night I grabbed another Cat Who - even though I just finished a Cat Who because when you're in a reading slump, read something familiar.  And wouldn't you know it, I've reached the point in my collection where I'm missing installments, so this one started and I was immediately lost in the bits and bobs of things from books I haven't read yet.  Bleh.

Mid-week I got the brilliant idea to sweep the driveway and pick up acorns along the way.  After about 30-45 minutes, I ended up with a leafless one-third of the driveway and about a quarter ice cream tub worth of acorns.  I piled the acorns down at the back of the yard for the deer.  Took less than five minutes for one deer to Hoover that pile right up.  Not so much as a thank you.  Hmph. At least I got some exercise and I did make one deer very happy.

Speaking of exercise, I really need to start back on my 'do something active every day' thing because this summer saw a gradual enlarging of this writer.  I'm about halfway back to my top weight (before I lost that 14 lbs) and I really need to reverse the slide.  I blame the ankle thing and the chocolate Twinkies.  To the 'do something active' thing, I deep cleaned the bathroom yesterday and the acorn thing the other day.  I went fishing, too, but that was mostly sitting on rocks watching a bobber.  I need to get up and move for it to count.

Okay, that's more than enough out of me for now.  How about you?