Prologueing The Evitable


Had I managed to finish the 2016 NaNoWriMo thing, this would have been the proglogue to the story. It’s a rough draft. The first draft, in fact. Probably the only draft. But I don’t have anything else to talk about at the moment so… here ya go!

Billy! The Prologue

The old hands framed the wooden bowl full of dark and still water. With a smile and a nod, the old man picked up a quill, dabbed it into the little stone bowl full of ink, and wrote down a final line on a sheet of parchment paper set off to the side of the bowl. He felt pleased, happy even, that the life he had just seen in the bowl would be a happy one. He had no idea when, or where, those events would unfold; those were not part of his gift.

No, his place was to view and document. He rolled up the parchment, tied it with a bit of tendon and then slipped it into a clay jar, which he plugged with a wooden disc. The jar he placed beside other jars in a box. His job for the day was done, then.

With difficulty, the ancient figure hobbled to the entrance of his cave and sat down on a large rock set beside the opening. He looked out in the bright sunlight to the miles of green field and forest out before him.

The old man enjoyed his divining. Certainly, some times, what he saw wasn’t very pleasant. It was hard seeing what man could do to other men. Most of the time, though, they were pleasant little encounters. Moments that show what most people can be like when they put their minds to it. Sometimes it’s just disturbing, such as the time he had experimented with different herbs to see the affects on his visions and he ended looking at the back of a head peering into a bowl, which showed a figure leaning over a bowl, and so on, until the elder thought he could see his own bald spot. He had to go lay down for a while after that one.

Perhaps, in the future, his scrolls would be found and scholars would pore over them looking for wisdom in their own lives through the lives of others. He hoped so. He thought so. He felt his gift, his work, would benefit many people.

Forget About Reality ‘Cause Nothing Is The Norm

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I’m not a good reviewer of things. That’s why you don’t see a lot of reviews on this blog. I’m not even sure when the last one was and if it was a proper review or not. I tend to think it had something to do with frozen breakfast foods. But, yeah, if you’re here for that kind of thing you’re probably not going to find it. Actually, I have no idea why you’re reading this. I mean, I know why my mom reads ’em, but I’ve got no clue about the rest of you. And I know you’re all out there. I can smell ya.

Anyway… Sometimes I want to review things but I don’t really know how to go about it. I know what I like (usually). I know what I don’t like (usually). And sometimes that changes. Like, almost immediately. I’m mercurial that way.

I mention this because I feel like I should be reviewing these virtual reality things that I play with so other people can get a feel for what they are and what they do. And then I feel like I don’t want to get screenshots together or make little movies or whatever the cool kids on YouTube are doing these days. But, like I said a moment ago, I got mercury in my veins (I’m not crazy) so how I feel at the beginning of a review may be far different than how I feel at the end of it.

Maybe I could just sort of mention things, you know, casually like. So, I was totally playing Duo the other night. It was pretty cool. It’s like Breakout (old folks) or Arkanoid (less older folks) where you hold these two shields and bounce balls into the bricks, which come up from the floor in humorous shapes. It’s pretty fun, even though I punched a wall and got both my hands caught in the ceiling fan (which I swear I turned off) on account of trying to keep the balls from getting past me. But they did get past me, and I’m not sure how or why.

Yeah. That wasn’t too bad. I just watched the video for the game and now I’m kind of annoyed. It shows a woman playing the game (I assume she’s the developer) and she’s barely moving. I’ve got no room in my bedroom but I still move all over the place trying to keep the balls in check (you can  think of your own dirty double entendre) and she’s barely moving her arms. Shenanigans, I say!

Or I could mention Rescuties VR and how I thought it was about catching cute babes that people throw at you but is, in fact, about catching cute (open to interpretation) babies that people chuck at you. And then you have to throw the babies to someone else, or, you know, just toss ’em in an ambulance. It’s an entertaining game and I’ve only gotten to level 2 because, for some reason, I’m deathly afraid of pitching a baby into an ambulance on account of things like walls. And ceiling fans. And expensive monitors. Stuff. It’s not just babies that get tossed your way, either. There’s also corgis and cats and muffins (or cupcakes?) and life preservers. A bunch of junk, really.

I reckon I’ll have to give it some thought.

 

‘Cause We Are Living In A Virtual World

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You might not think that strapping two LCD screens to your face would make much of a difference, but it really does. It’s the difference between looking at three dimensional images translated into two dimensions and looking at something in three dimensions.

Let’s look at Lucky’s Tale for a moment. Lucky’s Tale is a Mario 64 type of platform game. It could be done in 2D and be an OK kind of game. With VR, though, it is better. It’s like someone took a gymnasium and filled it with sets and you get to control a robotic fox while floating around the action. More than that, though, it allows the player to do things that playing on a 2D screen may not allow.

 

For instance, there were times when I saw a place I thought I could get to, but it wasn’t on the path. Generally, that means a secret might be hidden there. This particular location could have resulted in falling and losing a life so I wasn’t sure it was worth the effort. To find out, all I had to do was stand up and peek over the edge. It turned out there was nothing there, so there wasn’t any reason to go. Another time I had a look behind me to see where I’d been and found a secret present in a spot that I wouldn’t have seen had I not looked back. In fact, I think the biggest problem I had was playing it as a two-dimensional game most of the time and not really taking the time to look around me.

Sometimes it nifty just to be able to look at things. When I play a game on a monitor there are times when I want to see something and try and crane my head around to view it. This is useless as I’m looking at a 2D representation of a 3D world. No matter how hard I smoosh my face up against the monitor, I won’t be able to look out the canopy of a spaceship and see what the back end looks like. But I could do that in Eve: Valkyrie. It’s like being on a stage where the back wall has a window and a picture of New York City placed behind it and being in a building with a real window where you can see the city.

It’s also helpful, sometimes. Docking with a space station in Elite: Dangerous can be, well, dangerous. The stations are huge with a relatively narrow slot that has to be flown through. Stations also rotate. There can also be other ships coming and going from that slot. On a 2D screen you are, for the most part, limited to looking out straight ahead. Judging distance can be difficult. Looking to see if another ship is coming up underneath you could be impossible. But being in a 3D space, where you have a better judgement of scale and the ability to look down (in some cockpits there are windows below you) changes everything.

Even the worst games tend to be a little better for the VR experience. One that I found is a slot machine game. You hit a button to spin the wheel. And that’s about it. But the wheel is suspended in the air above a city and you’re on a rooftop in a hot tub. It sounds ridiculous because it is, but it’s also kind of relaxing in a way. If you were brave enough to sit in a bathtub with expensive VR goggles on your head the illusion would be complete.

What brings everything closer to a “holodeck” experience is motion tracked controllers. You can see your “hands” in front of you. You can pick things up, throw them, or drop them.

There’s a fishing game where you pick up your reel, move your arm back and flick forwards to cast your line. You have to use your other hand to reel in a fish. Then you reach out and grab the fish. At that point you can toss it back in the water, or open your box (by dropping your pole, grabbing the lid and pulling up), drop in the fish, and then close up the box. Pick up the pole again and you’re ready for another fish. It’s pretty amazing when you’re doing it.

That’s not to say there aren’t problems, though. For one, staying in front of the sensors can be an issue if you have a lot of things around. Not being able to grab that fish you dropped on the floor because the sensor isn’t pointed that far down can be frustrating. As can be getting tangled in the headset cable when you’re turning around trying to shoot undead cowboys before they eat your brains. Or accidently punching your monitor because you didn’t know you were that close to your desk. The most painful experience I’ve had so far, though, was while playing The Climb, a mountain climbing game, was trying to reach up for a grip and having the ceiling fan whack my knuckles. It was, coincidently, the same moment a bird of some kind was startled out if its nest by my groping on-screen hand which caused a moment of pure confusion. It was a level of realism I was quite ready for.

It’s not all games, though. There are educational programs out there that let you explore places like the Grand Canyon. And human anatomy. And probably other things. IKEA also has a room decorating program. The applications for VR, if done right, are near limitless.

The biggest problem that I see (besides having my hands hit by ceiling fans) is that most things are extremely short. A lot of games don’t seem to be worth the asking price because they don’t last long and don’t have a lot of replay ability. But it’s a new(ish) technology and people are still getting their feet wet. With time, there should be some truly remarkable programs out there that really take advantage of what the platform has to offer.

The Thin Line Between Love and Hate

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I haven’t made a secret that life has been, well, kind of a bitch lately. With the tires and rims being stolen off my car being a sort of pinnacle to reach. Well, wait. Let’s go back in time a bit. Cue the Wavy Way Back Machine!

There’s a kid sitting in a movie theater watching Star Wars for the first time. Then it gets to the part with flying through the trench. And this kid thinks to himself, “Gosh!” How awesome would it be to be able to fly a spaceship? Through a mechanical trench?

Then vidogames show up. Eventually they get past the “aliens on the top to blow up the good guy ship on the bottom” phase. In 1983, Atari releases the Star Wars arcade game. It’s a first person vector game and it includes, yes, the trench sequence. And this kid thinks to himself, “Holy shit!” The kid grew up some, but his vocabulary grew up a lot.

Over the years games got better, the kid got older and Star Trek: The Next Generation came along. With TNG came The Holodeck, which would be (if it could exist) a major change in the human race. Around that time, a thing called “virtual reality” was beginning to be noticed. Virtual reality was a far second place to what The Holodeck could do, but VR was reachable. Not 1990s reachable, but it could get there.

Finally, a few years ago, we got some other tech guy with a goofy name who was destined to be super rich. He brought an affordable virtual reality device to the world. Some may argue about the word “affordable,” but to me, anything less than 100 pounds and several thousand dollars makes it affordable.

And this kid, who at that point was actually an old man, started to get interested. Then a developer’s version was released. Then a second developer’s version was released. And even though this guy could afford to get one, he wanted to wait until it was ready for the masses. He wanted a version that would be more than acceptable than “proof of concept” or “it’ll work like this” or “your eyes will only bleed a little bit.”

That day arrived. And, because nothing can be easy, another company came out with the same type of thing at exactly the same time.

Now, this kid (now old man) has enough problems buying soup. You know, because there’s so many different types and which would he really want? Which soup will be a good experience? Which, out of these 52 flavors will stimulate his taste buds? Never mind that he could, if he really wanted to, buy one of each and try-em & toss-em at will. No, he’ll just get one, thank you very much, even if it takes hours to figure out which one.

So now there’s two competing VR devices. Both are fairly expensive by now. Both require one major update to his computer to work. So our subject does the smart thing: he replaces his video card first. Everything else in his computer is top-notch. Everything else was way overkill when he got it six years ago and it’s still over the top now, really. Everything thing else would work, just not the video card. He replaced it.

Research. He did research. Lots of research. Lots of reading forum comments, Reddit comments, blog posts– whatever information he could find about the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive he found, read, and absorbed like a fat glasses-wearing sponge.

A decision was made. He knew which one he was going to get. He made the decision and then he would go visit his mother and, when he got back home, he would push the button and make the rather expensive purchase.

That’s when he saw the tires and rims of his Challenger were missing. That, of course, means extra expense at least to the tune of $500, which is his deductible.

Our subject, I don’t mind telling you, went mad. Not noticeably. No, if you looked at him or talked with him he would have been amazingly calm. He would have shrugged and said something like, “Shit happens, right?” But inside… inside he was broken. The only thing keeping him up right was sheer will power. There’s a whole other backstory, see, that I won’t get it into. Let’s just say that a lot of events led up to this point and some would find it amazing that he lasted as long as he did.

So. Broken. And he decided, well, maybe he just didn’t need a VR thingy, anyway. After all, when would he get time to use it?

But he kept thinking about, our friend did. Every delay of getting his wheels back. Every time the insurance dude wouldn’t call him back. Every time he looked at a news story about a family during Christmas time he would think about it. Until he finally said, “Hey, so life hates me. If I can do this thing I want to do, then maybe I should do it anyway and say ‘fuck it!’ to cosmos.”

And so he did.

Wait, hold it. Don’t go anywhere. The story isn’t over. This isn’t the movies where the hero does his heroic act and then the credits roll. No, there’s more.

When he made the decision not to get the Rift, Amazon started a sale that included the Rift and a $100 gift card. It was supposed to be a one day deal, to his understanding, but he kept checking every day. And every day that option was available. It infuriated him. When he finally clicked on the buy button and realized he was some $600 poorer he stuck with it.

Then the gift card shipped. He checked the order page so he could track it because he likes tracking things. He likes to know when things leave, say, Dallas (not in this case) go to Georgia, flies back to California, flies into Dallas, drives to Austin, sits in the processing center for two days, leaves Austin, returns to Austin an hour later, sits in the processing center for a few more hours, and then gets on the truck for delivery.

Anyway, then he looks down at the breakdown for the charges: the Rift cost $499 and the free gift card cost $100. In all honestly, our guy would have been pleased as punch if the Rift cost $499 and there was no gift card. But, whatever, right?

So the gift card arrives and is clipped to his front door. No biggie. It’s just $100. A day later his Rift arrives and is left sitting in front of his apartment door. Luckily, his boss allows him to leave work early to get to the package before it’s hauled off by wheel thieves.

So now this guy, who, you remember, has been waiting for this moment (even if he didn’t quite realize it at the time) since 1977 can finally open the box and hook up the Oculus Rift. He does. Well, he tries to. His monitor, you see, has an HDMI connection going to the video card. The Rift requires an HDMI connection. The new video card has, in total, one (1) HDMI connection.

Okay. Well. He needs a DisplayPort cable. Or maybe an adaptor? He has tons of crap laying around. He roots around and sees that he does not, in fact, have an HDMI to DisplayPort adapter. If he needed a VGA connection he’d be gold.

Fair enough. Small setback. Order a DisplayPort cable from BestBuy he does because they have them in stock and it should be ready to pick up in an hour. Meanwhile, he decides to hook up the rest of the stuff because they need USB 3 connections and he’s got them in spades.

He plugs in the USB cable for the headset and is met with a green checkmark! It’s good! He plugs in the cable for the head tracking sensor and is met with a red x. An X? In red? It’s bad!

Probably something minor. He heads to the web and looks up the problem. It seems that the Oculus Rift works officially with one USB chipset. One that is not in his computer, anywhere. He updates the drivers to the USB controller he does have, as some Internet people have had good luck with that.

Good luck is not in our hero’s vocabulary. It doesn’t work. Time to get a new USB 3 controller card. One with, mind you, a very specific chipset. Does BestBuy have one? No, they do not. Speaking of BestBuy, it’s been well over an hour and he still hadn’t heard about picking up his cable. Because… they don’t really have one. He cancels and gives up for the night.

For the USB card he checks Fry’s, Altex (Altex, for God’s sake!), Walmart, HEB. Nothing. Nobody in the area has this thing. Order it from Amazon. Next day, this time, because he’s desperate. Drop in at BestBuy to see why cable never made it. Because they never had it. All right! Technology!

Early in the morning, the USB card arrives. Our friend opens his computer and the box for the card. It requires a SATA power connection. Luck! We have one open SATA power connection! Bad luck! It’s about three feet too short to reach the card! The card came with a SATA to Molex cable and a SATA power Y-cable. Neither of these would help.

No problem. Our friend is going to Fry’s to get a DisplayPort cable. He just also needs to pick up a SATA power extension. Easy peasy.

“You need a what?” said the sales guy.
“I need a SATA power extension cable,” I said.
“Like this?” he handed me a bag with a cable in it.
“No, that’s a SATA data extension.”
“This?”
“That’s a Molex extension. It would be like that, but it would have SATA connectors on both ends.”
“You need a what?”
“A SATA power extension.”
“Like this?”
“That’s a SATA data extension.”
“Let me find someone else that may know.”

Another salesman comes over.

“You need a what now?”
I sighed. “A SATA power extension cable.”
“Like this?”
“That’s a Molex power extension. It would be like that, but with two SATA power connectors.”
“Oh! We don’t have that.”
“Okay, well, let’s see,” I said. “How about a SATA to Molex converter and a Molex to SATA converter?”
“Yes, we have both of those.”

Okay, that might do the trick, if the computer didn’t catch on fire. Then it was time for the DisplayPort cable. They had one. They also had a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter that supported 4K.

The new, way more helpful, sales guy asked me, “Do you want both?”
“No,” I said, “I think I want to tempt fate one more time and just go with the cable.”
“Okay, I’ll write up the ticket for all this then.”
He handed me a slip of paper. I looked at it.
“You know, I think I will get the adapter, too.”
“No problem. I’ll go and get it and add it to the ticket.” He went off, got the adapter, handed me a new piece of paper.
“If you change your mind again before you make it to the cashier,” he said, “just tell the to go with the first order.” He gave me a big smile like he knew I was going to change my mind six times on the way to the front of the store.

But that didn’t happen. I got it all. I mean, our friend did. The subject of this whole thing. He got it all.

He put his bag o’ stuff down on an over crowded folding table and took out the Molex adapters. One was the wrong kind. That meant this wasn’t going to work.

Okay. Now what? The power supply is modular and he didn’t use all the Molex ones. Find the box with the power supply cables, grab a Molex one and plug it into the power supply! Then use one of the SATA to Molex adapters! Simple! The correct cable was found and it turned out that there were no empty spots left on the power supply to plug it in.

But, wonder of wonders, there was another empty SATA power connector. If it could be fed behind the motherboard (it could) it just might reach! Unravel the cable and it turns out there’s at least five empty SATA connectors. Take the back of the case off and there’s about fifteen more sitting back there. Hilarious. The cable was threaded behind and then out next to the card and it had power! One problem surmounted!

He closed up the case and looked at the bag that still held the new DisplayPort cable and HDMI adapter thing. It was sitting on…

Go on. Guess. Guess what that bag was sitting on, on top of that over crowded folding table. I’ll wait.

Yes. It was a DisplayPort cable. The one, in fact that came with the monitor that was causing such a fuss. It was sitting there the whole time. How did it get missed over the course of a couple of days? Who knows! Even worse, I cut out the whole part when our friend thought it came with a DisplayPort cable and rummaged through the box it came in to see if it was taped to some of the styrofoam. But, no, it was right there. On the table. Which begs the question: Why was the HDMI cable ever used at all? WHY?

So. Change the monitor to use the original DisplayPort cable. Put all that crap back in the bag to be returned. Because, you see, none of it was needed. At all. Only the USB 3 card was really necessary.

So, to bring this to a close, the Oculus Rift was installed. And it works. And loading up Elite: Dangerous for the first time was… magical. Almost, but not quite, flying through the trench of the Death Star.

 

What The Hell Happened? [2016]


December is just about half over. There may be at least one person out there curious to know the outcome of my NaNoWriMo attempt. Here’s a short summary: Failed.

What happened this time around? Not much, really. It was just a matter of time. I know I was told at least once to not bother sleeping but I kind of like sleeping. It’s the time when I don’t have to remember that my life is a sack of crap.

Honestly, for someone that has absolutely nothing going on in life I tend to be really short of time. But, so it is. At least this year there was no major medical emergency that stepped in to ruin everything.

Of course, it was in early December that some scumbags decided to steal the tires and rims off my car, which is a new level to the whole “life sucks” kind of thing. I have one thing I’m moderately happy with and some lower functioning idiot has to ruin that, too.

Perhaps 2017 will be a better year. As far as I’m concerned, 2016 has been pretty awful. It certainly has not been “my year.” I think I know a few people who would feel that way.

So where does that leave “Billy!”? I’m not sure. The 3,000 words I did get down please me, for the most part. I suppose I could add more over the course of the year. You know, for fun. It depends on how motivated I am, I guess.

Meanwhile, I signed up for DirectvNow, since it’s the only “tv on the Internet” that has all the channels I would want in one package. It’s cheaper than cable and doesn’t require me to take a day off waiting for someone to wire me up so I’m all good. I’d like to say I’ve been happily watching live TV for a week now, but I haven’t; I’ve been stuck on the FXX network watching The Simpsons on demand. I have missed so, so, much. I guess that hasn’t been conducive to writing either, really.

So, there you go: a boring update to a fairly boring (unless it’s bad) life.

 

The Pie’s The Limit

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So, it’s not going well on the writing front. I had three days to write like a maniac and try and catch up a bit, but it didn’t work out. I finally did get to around 3,000 words, though. That means I have about a day to get about 47,000 words written. Let’s be realistic and understand that it’s not going to happen.

This year I’m blaming time. I guess I should blame myself, but, really, I’m blaming time. I didn’t have much free. I ended up working through most of my work hours at lunch and, after traffic, I don’t have time in evening hours to get it done (although I did write some while eating dinner at some point).

Also, Thanksgiving. I made two pies for Thanksgiving: pecan and chocolate pecan. And I bought a pumpkin pie just in case the two I made turned out to be inedible. There’s only so much pie two people can eat, so I ended up taking quite a lot of pie back to the apartment.
Now, I’ve had pies in the apartment before. And, even though I live alone, I tend to cut pies into slices and then put the slice on a plate. This has lead to some hilarious shaped pie slices because there are times when I swear the knife point is in the center, but after it’s cut up it’s just way off.

The other night I wanted some of the pumpkin pie but, you see, I don’t much care for pie crust. Okay, the top crust (if it has one) is okay, especially if it’s got sugar granuales on it. And the bottom crust is fine. But the outer crust doesn’t thrill me.

And then, after six years of living alone, I had an epiphany: I didn’t have to eat the crust. Further, I don’t have to cut a slice of pie. I can just grab the pie tin and start eating from the center, if I wanted to. There’s nobody else to see it. Nobody will know. I don’t get any visitors coming over at random times hoping to get some pie.

So that’s what I did. Grabbed the pie, grabbed a fork, and ate pie until I wanted no more pie (about three bites, it turns out).

Further in the pie news, is that I mentioned to some co-workers that I was going to make the pies for Thanksgiving. And they wanted pie, too. So I broke down and made two more chocolate pecan pies; one with bourbon and one without.

I don’t like cooking for co-workers. I always worry (for no reason) that they’ll get sick off of anything I make. Or die. Or something. And it’ll be my fault. But I broke down and made them. And everyone enjoyed them. I wanted a good way to make sure people knew which one had bourbon (oddly, I don’t like spirits in my desserts) and which didn’t, so I made two ‘tags’ and taped them to the pie covers.

I worked pretty hard on those, but only one person mentioned it. I was a little disappointed.

There you go: all pies and no writing create a fairly girthy failure.

Doo bee doo


I have some things I should be doing today but I feel like I’ve been fighting off a cold or allergies or something all week so I decided to stay in. This would be the perfect time to get some writing in. If I could break 3,000 words maybe I’d feel a bit better (I won’t). Still, it’s probably a good thing I decided to take a lahzee lazy laisy relaxed atitiude towards the whole thing.
Both my watches need a battery now. One of the things I should have done today was gone to have them replaced. Or go and get an Apple Watch. But probably get batteries. I still can’t think of even one good reason for me to have an Apple Watch. The most use it would get (besides telling time) would be reading all new email I get from Fry’s, Best Buy, Pizza Hut, etc. Nobody I know on a personal level ever emails me. Or calls me. Sometimes I get texts, which justifies even having a phone.
It would seem, then, that’d I’d be the perfect person to put my life on hold in order to write a novel in thirty days. I don’t have one. It doesn’t work that way, though. When there’s nobody cheering you on it doesn’t always seem like a top priority. Or even a low one. It’s just something to do.
And then you (you, the reader you) says something like, “Well what the hell are you doing writing all this sorry stuff for instead of writing your stupid story?”
That’s a fair question. A fair question that I won’t answer. Not in full. Basically, there’s stuff I want to write but it doesn’t quite fit the schema of the story. It’s really just feelings (nothing more than feelings) and stuff. And, since I’m not feeling all that way all the moment, this is the perfect place to whine, complain, bitch and moan.

Eeep.


Well, it’s worse than I thought. I figured I could write some on my lunch hour that I never usually take but, what with having a new person hired and all, I don’t get to use that time, either. I guess, all told, I have about fifteen minutes or so a day to write stuff down. That’s not very much. That might be a wee bit of hyperbole, but not much.
That being said, I have enough words down to be at day 1 1/2 and it’s the 15th. The chances of me getting any where near 50,000 is remote. Very remote.
But, it’s kind of a fun story to write. It’s too bad I can only write in chunks of 200 to 300 words at a clip. Mostly they’re just independant scenes. I could probably generate a lot of words just trying to stitch them together.
So that’s how that’s going.
Other than that, I made chimichangas for dinner. I found out that I can roll a burrito just fine. I can also deep fry ‘em pretty good. It didn’t take long to get sick of them, though. I’m probably good for another six or so years of not having one.
I don’t think I really appreciate the amount of work that goes on when making various foods. After making six chimichangas I can see where paying $10 or so to have it fully made and brought out would seem pretty reasonable. I figure the person making it, on the other hand, has probably done it so often that they do it without even thinking. They’re all like, “You want this? Yeah, I’ll whip it up in a couple of minutes!” And they’ll somehow do it with a minimum of fuss and bother. It took me two days to finish washing all the dishes and stuff that I used. I still have a pan full of oil, too. I’m thinking I should start frying everything until all the oil is evaporated or absorbed. Or whatever it does.

Decisions, Decisions

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So what did I decide to do? Let me tell you. I decided I would try and write but I wasn’t going to beat myself senseless over it. If I get a chance to write, I will; if not, I won’t. I either make it or I don’t.
It turns out that’s a good mentality to have because I am so strapped for free time I actually haven’t gotten much written. I brought my laptop to work so I could get some words in during down times or, hey, maybe even take that lunch hour I never take. But we have a new person that started so a lot of my time has gone towards answering newbie questions.
It’s a fickle world.
Commenter John thought “Billy!” would be good to write, so I went ahead and started that one. It’s been fun, but I only have around 2,000 words written. That puts me way behind where I should be. I have some nice scenes, though, I think. None of them have much to do with the overall story, though.

Like Sand Through The Hourglass


I have less than 24 hours to decide if I want to spend the next month writing every chance I get. Less than 24 hours to figure out what, if anything, I would write.

As far as what to write goes, there are three things that are always on the top of my head. They would be:

Idea: A man is put into cryogenic sleep and sent to a nearby star. The problem, of course, is that by the time he gets there, humankind has increased their technical know-how and end up there before he does. Fish out of water, hilarity ensues.
Problem: I started this last year and, before tragedy struck, was already going insane with being ‘realistic.’ What star? When did the journey begin? How far into the future do I go? What kind of technical advances happened? Also, this sounds suspiciously like a Robert Sheckley plot. Was it done before?

Idea: Billy is a child of prophecy. He’s the most important young man on the entire planet. Starting off as an orphan, he battles the army of his nemesis: the vampire king of zombies. Rescued from pirates by werewolves he sets out on a journey of clueless adventure to claim his birthright.
Problem: The world is full of vampires, zombies, pirates, and, to a lesser extent, werewolves. I’m kind of sick of them, which is the entire point of this. I’m also less keen on the “young adult is the most important person, ever, because of prophecy” type stories. They’ve been done again and again and again. That makes this story ripe for exceptional meanness and going from parody to stupid.

Idea: Earth scientists leave Earth and go to an uninhabited planet so they can use nano-technology to terraform the world and populate it with their own people and creatures. Along the way, the scientists go a little crazy and start believing they’re gods because they’re own creations tend to think of them as such. Artificial Intelligence and robotics, you see.
Problem: This idea is old. For me, that is. It started a long time ago, before ‘nano’ was used very much. I’ve put a lot of thought into the mechanics of how things work and why they work. It’s a bit complicated and I don’t know if I’m even up to the task.

Sometimes, though, I feel like bringing back the simpler sci-fi and fantasy that I’m familiar with from the past. The basic heroic type things. It could be awful, but it would be relatively easy to write.