Friday, April 01, 2005
Firefox and Thunderbird Garage is getting a lot of buzz lately, which I'm very pleased about.
The Prentice-Hall website is currently featuring this book on their main page (yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!). You can order it directly from them at a 30% discount; just click on the book cover and whip out your credit card.
What with Terri Schiavo having been made a media circus by her parents (and the Pope dying as I write this), I wanted to be even clearer about my living will intentions and express some of my thoughts at the likes of the so-called “Right-to-Life” idiots that clustered around Terri Schiavo’s hospice like dung flies.
[Note: I didn’t write this, but I love it. It was forwarded to me by an old friend named Miryam G.; where she got it, I don't know. Credit should go to the original author, whoever that may be. I found reference to it on www.mudcat.org but I don't know that that’s the first place it appeared. I have made minor changes to reflect the fact that the author refers to living in Florida but I don't as well as adding a few comments of my own.]
[Update: The earliest reference I've been able to find to this is in a column written by Carl Hiaasen for the Dec 7 2003 Miami Herald in response to legislation introduced at time for dealing with the flap over Terri Schiavo's condition. I've asked if I can use this and I'm not going to post it until I get some acknowledgement of permission. It's only fair, after all]
It's April 1st. Okay. BFD.
Far more important is that it's a Friday. The email and phone calls may slow to a dull roar this weekend as a result.
I'm feeling somewhat better, though this cold is still really pestiferous. I'll be glad to be healthy again.
I get to see my father next week! I am TERRIFICALLY excited about this. I don't get to see him nearly often enough and I miss him. He's coming to town for a knife show, which we'll go to together. I'm going to get a list of knife makers and dealers to look up who Dad may be particularly interested in. But the biggest emotion is massive excitement that I get to see Dad again and we'll be doing something fun together. He and I finally have the relationship we both want (it's really good) and I'm incredibly happy to have him in my life. Hot damn!!
Off to the P.O. to mail a bunch of books to a lot of different people, then back to the office to sort more papers.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
I feel bad because it's been almost 3 years since I updated my website's personal section or our joint website. I have hundreds of photos from the wedding and things since then that I'd like to tell everyone about... and I just haven't gotten it together. Part of it's time: it takes time to scan all them photos. It takes time to post them. And it takes time to write things.
But I didn't even get Yule letters out this year (and only got about 1/3 of them out last year). Last year, it was being in Indiana and depression (which is redundant) that got in the way. This year, it's been moving/not having a good place to do this/unpacking/inertia that played a part in sending out cards & letters. But damnit, this is important to me. Keeping in touch with friends is a big deal for me. We only have each other and there's no way to replace old friends that have slipped away. I hate losing anyone I was close to.
So I'm very pleased with my adding things here and there to this blog so far. And with any kind of luck, I'll eventually get pictures and so on posted to the websites, too.
What's less fun than doing taxes? Doing taxes when you've got a cold. I'm running a fever and I keep having a cough that alternates between wet and dry. I don't honestly mind paying taxes--it's part of being a citizen and I rather enjoy fulfilling my responsibilities in that regard--but the amount of paperwork that I need to do is a real challenge. What's making it worse this year is that many of the receipts and checks are in boxes that we've not yet unpacked. Bleah.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Yang loves curling up on top of the #1 computer's monitor. Actually, so does BC, but he tends to stay on the back of it (where it's warm). Yang likes being more decorative, which occasionally requires me to lift a tail, a paw, or a hindquarter out of the way of the screen.
Susan the Demon Child came up with a short poem about this:
My computer has a hat.
Most of it is fur and fat.
The rest of it is cat.
Monday, March 28, 2005
This cold is really annoying (okay, what cold isn't?) but I'm hoping that I cracked it. I slept until 1:00pm today and the fever largely went away. I think I'll need to do this again tomorrow, but I hope to get it beaten back to a dull roar quickly.
There are a lot of things going on in my life right now, which is absolutely the norm, of course, but the big New thing is that we are building a house. I've never done that before, although M's been through this twice. I'm sure it'll be vastly stressful at times.
We backed into this idea. We decided that this house, though wonderful in its own right and having the nicest backyard of any we've owned, is Not For Us. There's not enough room for a good office for me, M doesn't have a good room for sewing, the master suite's on the 2nd floor, and so on and so forth. It'll be the perfect house for someone else but not for us. Well, having realized this, we went house shopping. The 2nd weekend we did this, we stopped at a realtor's open house and saw a newly built house. And lo! it was perfect!!!
The house was lovely. It has vaulted ceilings of up to 16', there's a downstairs master suite that's very nice, a huge bonus room that'll make a perfect office, a room for the piano, instruments, and music, a sewing room, and a good bedroom for Susan. M & I kept going through the house saying "Okay, well, what about this? What about that?" And try as we might, we simply could not poke holes in how nice the house was. We really like it!
(Here's a picture of the house that we saw.)
The only problem was that the house--actually, there are two of them across from each other that are identical--is located on a little keyhole lot in a neighborhood that's not too attractive. We loved the house but didn't like the lot. Well, gosh, the realtor said, we could always build it ourselves--the plans are available online from Mascord so all we have to do is find a lot to build on. In Eugene, though, that's easier said than done. There are very few lots available within the city and there are some serious restrictions on new construction that are making lots sell at a premium. Hmmm....
We looked at several places that have lots available, most of which didn't look like what we want. Some of the developments were really flat (and reminded me of Indiana, which I will pay money to not be reminded of) and some were badly located (building a house near a pulp plant seemed inauspicious), but there was one that looked really nice off in the hills. To make a long story just a leetle shorter, we found a builder we liked and a lot and are going to break ground in about a month. Huzzah, huzzah!
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Watching the zoo with Terri Schiavo's parents (who desperately need therapy), let me make it abundantly clear to the world: I have a living will signed, but in case there's some question about it for any reason, I'll tell all y'all that I would not want myself in the same situation as Terri Schiavo! If I've checked out permanently, there's no reason to keep me alive and gorped out. If there's an afterlife, I'll be held up from getting there. If there isn't, it won't matter anyway. Throw a big party to celebrate my life and remember the following conversation (from Nathan Ausubel's book on Jewish humor):
"Why did he die?"
"Because he lived."
P.S. I've set it so that anyone can enter a comment--the default was apparently restricted to other registered blogger.com users. Nope, it's open to anyone now.
I was looking over some stuff I wrote ages ago (I was looking for the explanation of this blog's title and found a few other things that I figured I'd post as well.
A thought or two on Marxism: As far as Marxism goes, well, it's a step above having the Jehovah's Witnesses knock on my door, but not much. I've heard enough noise about people exploiting other people by dozens of snivelly little whiners who couldn't scrape a life together to save themselves (as well as by kids of really rich parents who wanted to Make A Statement) to last me several lifetimes.
The bottom line is that life isn't fair. The ones that it's been more generous to have a moral obligation to the others to even things out. But Marxism misses the point. I'm a successful author and an independent consultant, who works at home in a high-tech office and makes a good living doing so. I'm proud of that; it's a lot of money for someone to make without a college degree. I earn it because I'm very good at what I do, and I enjoy doing it. It's not something everyone can do, and that makes me feel good, also. And yes, I donate a lot of time, energy, and bucks to helping out those who need a hand. I'm even up to 10-1/2 gallons of blood donations.
Marxism (and Marxists) talk about the bourgeoisie, the ruling class, and the working class, none of which are the class that I belong to. Marxism just doesn't address this: a large group of independent information workers simply didn't exist when Marx was alive. The thing is that Marx may have had something intelligent to say for an industrial economy, but we aren't an industrial economy anymore; we're an information economy. The ground rules have changed.
Where this blog's name comes from: Okay, in the first Indiana Jones movie, "Eaters of the Roast Lark," there's a scene where he's pursuing the Ark in a truck and has told John Rhys-Davies and Karen Allen to drive into town and find a boat. They ask him what he's going to do and he says in that tired voice "Don't ask me; I'm making this up as I go." I always misremember it as "...go along" so that's what it is. :)
A thought of two on what I'm posting: I have opnions. They are my opinions and are therefore, by definition, Very True. They may not be your opinions, however, and you might even be offended by something I say. (Hey, it happens.) I'd like to offer the following generic disclaimer for whatever you see and read here:
This product is meant for educational purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Do not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment. Postage will be paid by addressee. This is not an offer to sell securities. Apply only to affected area. May be too intense for some viewers. Do not stamp. For recreational use only. All models over 18 years of age. No user-serviceable parts inside. Freshest if eaten before date on carton. Subject to change without notice. Times approximate. Simulated picture. No postage necessary if mailed in the United States. Breaking seal constitutes acceptance of agreement. For off-road use only. As seen on TV. One size fits all. Contains a substantial amount of non-tobacco ingredients. Colors may, in time, fade. We have sent the forms which seem to be right for you. Slippery when wet. For official use only. Edited for television. Keep in a cool, dry place. Post office will not deliver without postage. Not responsible for direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damages resulting from any defect, error or failure to perform. At participating locations only. Not the Beatles. Penalty for private use. Substantial penalty for early withdrawal. Do not write below this line. Lost ticket pays maximum rate. Avoid contact with skin. Sanitized for your protection. Employees and their families are not eligible. Contestants have been briefed on some questions before the show. Limited time offer, call now to insure prompt delivery. You must be present to win. No passes accepted for this engagement. No purchase necessary. Processed at location stamped in code at top of carton. Use only in well-ventilated area. Keep away from fire or flame. Replace with same type. Approved for veterans. Some equipment shown is optional. Price does not include taxes. No Canadian coins. Not recommended for children. Reproduction strictly prohibited. No solicitors. No alcohol, dogs or horses. Restaurant package, not for resale. Call toll free before digging. Driver does not carry cash. This supersedes all previous notices.
There's a wonderful quatrain from (of all places) the final episode of the old Carol Burnett show: "When confronted by a foe, bless her, praise her, let her go."
I think I'll close with a really optimistic thought. It's a line out of an otherwise undistinguished movie called "Rollover," starring Jane Fonda and Kris Kristofferson. Kristofferson is a financial genius who's been called in to look at a bank that's failing. The president is sloughing and says "Well, it's the system. You can't beat the system." Kristofferson replies by saying "That's your problem. You and everybody else keeps thinking it's a system. It's not. It's a game. You can't beat the system... but you can win a game."
It's all a game.
It's Sunday and I'm still reveling in the latest book being done and out and off to the printer. This one's "Firefox & Thunderbird Garage," my 24th book. I have high hopes for sales on this one... well, I have high hopes for sales on *all* of my books as a rule, but the indications are that these particular hopes are going to be well-founded.
We drove over to the housing development in the south Eugene Hills to look at the lot where our house is going to be built. That's always fun. We made note of where the local mailbox is--across the street from our house; not bad!--and the fire hydrant (one door over; huzzah ditto). We're looking at what we can do with landscaping on the hillside above the lot. It'll be a cross between ground covers and maybe a strip where I can plant squashes and so on so they'll trail over the rock wall as they grow.
My joy would be greater if I weren't so darned sick. I've had some kind of mild cold for a few weeks--allergies, perhaps?--that's blossomed yesterday into what really *does* feel like a cold. Bleah. We sang at church this morning, but I slept most of the afternoon.