Friday, January 23, 2009

Geeky jokes for Friday

Werner Heisenberg was driving along when a police officer pulled him over.
"Do you know how fast you were going?" the officer asks.
"No, but I know where I was going."

Q. What goes Pieces of seven! Pieces of seven! ?
A. A parroty error.

Roses are #FF0000,
Violets are #0000FF.
All of my base
Are belong to you.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Goodbye, George...

...and don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out of town!

Addendum: a friend commented that this is the same sort of frozen smile and wave you give to a relative who has completely overstayed their welcome and you're making damn sure that the car/bus/train/plane they're on gets underway smoothly.


Service interruption

Dear World:

We, the United States of America, your top quality supplier of the ideals of liberty and democracy, would like to apologize for our 2001-2008 interruption in service. The technical fault that led to this eight-year outage has been located, and the software responsible was replaced November 4.

Early tests of the newly installed program indicate that we are now operating correctly and we expect it to be fully functional on January 20. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage. We look forward to resuming full service and hope to improve in years to come. We thank you for your patience and understanding.



Inauguration Day!!

We're not out of the woods yet. Things are going to get a whole heckuva lot worse before they even begin to get better. We'll have decades of recovery ahead of us. But the little weasel is out of the White House at last and that's a good start.

We survived to Jan 20, 2009. I wasn't honestly sure we would.

Balancing your life when you're an author

The following comments are something I just posted on the Author's forum of, and I think they deserve to be posted here, too.

I just got asked a very good question, about how one balances life and writing a book. We have businesses, families, spouses, and kids to deal with, so how does writing a book fit all of that? I wanted to mention this here both to spark discussion and because this may be helpful for people.

Writing books is a pest and it rarely pays off really for the time you spend. Compared to what I make doing independent consulting, contract writing, or writing magazine articles, books don't pay nearly as well for the time it takes to write them. Nevertheless, we do it because there's always that chance that that particular book will pay off handsomely and also because it's just one of those Things We Should Do. I also recommend it to everyone because your writing and planning skills improve enormously after doing even a book or two.

I haven't come up with a great balance to the process, myself. I wrote my first 15 books from 1987 to 1995, when I was in a marriage I didn't enjoy, so part of it was my way of keeping myself away from my then-wife. I was younger, too, so I had more energy and was able to skimp on sleep and survive in the short-term. (I ended up a Type II diabetic as a result of years and years of sleep deprivation, so don't do this yourself.)

In terms of finding balance in your own lives--assuming you do a lot of this--you might want to view writing a book as that extra 10-15 hours/week that we all need to do in self-marketing to keep the pumps primed. I would also strongly recommend not doing books (a) back to back or (b) simultaneously. Back to back will exhaust you and I've never done well writing two books simultaneously because I keep having to jerk myself out of one creative reverie and into another. I didn't like it and I ended up spending too much time in the transition and my writing speed went down.

The bottom line, though, is that this will take a lot of time and you need to be ready for it. I was talking to my current editor at Wiley the other day, who was saying the the Editorial Committee has this image of authors lounging around all the time. (He doesn't believe that himself, but the EC does, apparently.) "Ha!" I said, "I always tell my writing students that as an author you can work any 12 hours a day you like." He liked that one a lot. It's true, too.

BTW, I recently posted an article about those last few weeks when you're finishing a book. It equates being in prison with the writing process, but not in any way you'd expect from the sound of it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Signs we'd all love to see :)


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Some just really do just write themselves....

I would've thought that this was right out of the pages of The Onion, but no, you can find this at the American Life League website. The ALL is a Catholic anti-abortion/anti-birth control/anti-just-about-anything-else group that is engaged in spreading as much misinformation and disinformation about abortion and birth control as it can along with assorted other propaganda that falls into the category of "Lying to Preserve the God of Truth."

Normally, I pay little more attention to these folks than I would to a dead possum in the road (i.e., I try not to hit it with the car because it leaves a mess, but don't endanger myself avoiding the impact, either--my, that is an apt metaphor!), but there was no hope of avoiding them this time. You see, these idiots are up in arms over Krispy Kreme using the phrase "freedom of choice" in an ad. That's all of it: someone had the temerity to say "freedom of choice" in a public communication that also mentions Obama and giving away free Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and the American Life League is about to pop their collective spleens in outrage. (And I'd pay money to see that, too.)
One of the best pieces of coverage--which has not been, uh, flattering to the ALL--was this one in the Miami New Times.

I think the only two possible comments I can make are these:

  1. They really "took the cake" with this one.

  2. Einstein said it best: "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits."
Lest you think that I'm just posting this in my blog to mock them, I feel obliged to say that I sent the ALL email, too... because when someone this stupid is down this far, you're really kinda required to kick 'em. So I encouraged them to keep up the good work because I was glad to see them shoot themselves in the foot as much as they liked.

Christ, what morons! If they had half a brain between them, they'd be quarter-wits.


36 hours to go

The Inauguration is coming up soon. Here's hoping it goes smoothly and that we send that little weasel back home to clear brush or get his arm caught in a chipper-shredder or even go hunting with his good friend, Dick. Whatever seems appropriate for that day....

I'm a Born-Again American

I really like this a lot. The song's worth listening to all the way through.


Big Lebowski in Little China

For fans of either movie, or even better, both, here's Big Lebowski in Little China.