Saturday, January 30, 2010

From His Temple He Heard My Voice; My Cry Came Before Him, Into His Ears. (Psalm 18:6)

Hey, what can I say?  I'm in a minimalist mood right now... I know, I know... usually that would mean stark white with a tiny bit of black on it... but coincidently, not only am I in a minimalist mood, but I'm also in a contrarian mood...

Went with Wifey to see Avatar today, the whole "3D IMAX" thing.

First, I don't know what I was expecting, or where I got this idea to begin with, but I always thought IMAX was one of those huge concave screens that kind of wrap around the audience, like the inside of a dome. I saw a cool volcano movie in such a theater once, at a museum in San Diego... I don't know why I thought that's what IMAX was... I thought we'd walked into the wrong theater... so my question is, what's the difference between a 3D movie, and an IMAX 3D movie? It seemed like the screen was the same, just a bit taller...

But the positional sound was awesome. And really, the 3D effects were awesome. I liked the movie itself a lot. I doubt anything will come close in the Special Effects-related categories for the Oscars this year. If there was ever a sure thing, it's Avatar sweeping all the audio-visual Oscars this year. The message was pretty heavy-handed. I almost injured my eyes rolling them at the line about how "we killed our mother" and had come to Pandora to kill its mother as well. Gimme a break. There were other eye-rolling moments as well, but not enough to lower my rating of the film below an 8.

Though here's how some think it Should Have Ended...

Hmm... still no signal...

Saw a trailer for a Tom Cruise movie that I actually would like to see! It's called Knight and Day. The funny thing is that it also stars Cameron Diaz, who is also on my list of Movie Stars I Try To Avoid If At All Possible. Other notable names on the list include Nick Cage, John Travolta and Julia Roberts. Anyway, check out the trailer... looks pretty good, actually...

Come on, admit it... that looks pretty good. 

Saw a bunch of other trailers, but nothing else worth noting.

Yeah, I know... I broke tradition by putting another large landscapey picture in the middle of this post instead of just at the beginning. What can I say? I'm also in an unorthodox mood, with a stress on horticulture. 

Seeing as how I'm in an unorthodox mood, I'm going to do something I've never done in a blog post... I'm going to post a snippet of one of the interviews I've edited for Piranha Marketing, since I'm curious what you will think about it.

The speaker is Stephen Pierce, the interviewer is Joe Polish. Stephen Pierce is an expert in Internet Marketing... HERE is his website.


 Joe: If you could touch on how you would recommend someone get started with Internet marketing, if they really feel like they don’t know what they’re doing.  How would someone get started?  
Stephen: For somebody who wants to go online, make extra money, supplement income, replace lost income, or maybe just get rich, the absolute fastest way to make money on the Internet, and this is going to seem obvious but it’s the truth, the fastest way to make money on the Internet is to sell what people are already buying.
        Now, it’s an obvious truth.  But interesting enough, most people, the majority of the people who go on the Internet, sell one of 2 things:  1) what they want people to buy; or 2) what they hope people will buy.  
        It doesn’t work that way, because everybody has what I call the GAP, which is their Goals, Activities and Priorities.  The goals that they’re looking to achieve (whether daily, weekly, quarterly, monthly, whatever), the activities they engage in to reach their goals, and the prioritization of their resources (their time, energy and money) to engage in those activities to reach those goals.  
        So, if you were competing against their priorities, the game is over before it even starts.  
        What we want to do is we want to understand what are people already buying, because those are transactions that are going to take place regardless of you.  
        I tell people all the time, “The Internet does not require your permission; it only requires your participation in a very specific way.”  When you can understand what the flow of money is, all you have to do is just get into the stream of it.  
        There are billions of dollars in transactions taking place independent of you.  What you want to do is understand how you insert yourself into the process of those transactions and get a cut.  You do that by understanding what people are already buying.
        One of the fastest ways to do it, I think, is literally minutes worth of research.  Go to Amazon, go to the different categories.  First thing you look at is best-sellers.  That lets you know what’s selling the most.  
        Most categories, to the left from best-sellers, will have a movers-and-shakers category.  That lets you know what’s selling the fastest.  
        So, from just doing that in all kinds of categories from software to games to electronics, you can know, based on Amazon’s market share of those products, what the best-selling products are and what the fastest-selling products are.  Bestsellers, obviously, in the bestsellers category.  Fastest-selling products are in the movers-and-shakers.
        The interesting thing is products that sell fast will show first on Amazon’s movers-and-shakers list long before they’ll even appear in Google’s keyword list.  So, you want to pay attention to that.  
        Now, the second-fastest way to make money on the Internet is to sell what people are about to buy.  In other words, where’s the money flowing today, and the where’s the money going to be flowing in the future?
        Well, one thing that’s easy to monitor are franchise-type products.  Software products have franchise-type products.  Video games have franchise-type products.  
        But one way to know where money is about to flow is to know what’s on preorder, whether they’re clothing or electronics or games.  
        Again, Amazon, you can go and you can look at what products they have available on pre-order.  
        You can do keyword research.  Here’s the thing.  I was teaching this, this year, to people.  It blew people’s minds.  I’ll give you an example.
        Before Call of Duty:  Modern Warfare 2 came out, this was like 4½ months before the product came out, there were over 300,000 searches a month for “Call of Duty:  Modern Warfare 2,” that exact phrase.  
        There was only one person advertising the product, and that was I think Gamespot or someplace like that.  If you wanted to get the pay-per-click traffic, you would pay 5¢ or less to get it.  
        Here’s the thing:  I show people product after product.  Even Windows 7, before it came out, there were el-zilcho advertisers.  But if you looked for Windows Vista, you looked for Windows XP, there was like 100 different pay-per-click advertisers on paid search.  
        But if you looked for Windows 7, I think there was like 2 people advertising for Windows 7.  There was tons of search volume on it, but yet you could sell those products on preorder because the way Amazon works, at least with Amazon’s model, you can take a product that’s on preorder, you can build a landing page, pre-filled page, whatever, bring the buyer in, and take them off the market.  Because the moment they hit that pre-sale order link and they order it, pre-sell via Amazon, their card isn’t charged and you’re not credited the commission, but the buyer’s off the market.  
        Once Amazon ships the product, they charge the card and credit you with the commission.


What do you guys think of that? You find out what is selling best/fastest on Amazon, set up an affiliate page, if people buy it from your page, you get a small piece. Is it really that easy to do? It makes sense, in theory... it strikes me as one of those "if it's that easy, everyone would be doing it" type of things... the guy seems to know what he's talking about. And he has a lot of great info in that interview, I thought...

Meh, who knows.

OK, I'm done feeling contrarian for the day. Sunday is church day. We'll see what happens. All I know is, it's a good time for me. The Wife and I are getting along, and I have a ton of Facebook Scrabble games going. Now if I could only find a good book to read, I'd be worry-free. That Erikson book is waning... not sure how much longer I'll be reading it. It's inconsistent... flashes of great reading, stretches of dullness, hampered by the effort to try and remember who is who... too many characters...

Adios for now.

Dave the Gump

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Steps Have Held To Your Paths; My Feet Have Not Slipped. (Psalm 17:5)

Oh, fine! Be that way! Just let my Thursday end! Sure, why not, I guess I don't really need it anymore, right? I mean, it's just Thursday for crying out loud! It's not like it's important or anything, like Friday, right? Sure, take it! Go on, who needs it anyway! It's just a lowly, useless Thursday, you selfish nit!

Man, the nerve of some people! Take my day before I'm done with it... Sheesh!

Odds and ends, where to start...

Ah, yes, the iPad! Look, all I have to say is, what is up with the name? The "iPad"? Are you kidding me? That's the best they could do? I've never been quite on board with the whole "i" thing to begin with. I understand branding, and yeah, they got cool gadgets... I love my MacBook Pro (no little "i" at the beginning of that name!), and my 3rd generation iPod is still going strong after 5+ years (while everyone else I know has had to replace several), and my iMac is a solid, reliable machine... so I'm pretty much a fan of Apple. But the "i" thing is starting to bug me.

When I first heard the announcement for the iPad, of course, I immediately went to the Apple website to watch the promo video that I knew would be there, heralding the new gadget (basically an iTouchXL) as the greatest thing ever, trying to drum up hype so scads of people will once again buy it the day it comes out instead of waiting for the bugs to get worked out and the price to drop. The promo video was certainly effective... the gadget is very cool. But those promos always remind me, in a way, of the announcers for TNA Wrestling... "O, my gawd, you will never see explosive wrestling action like this anywhere else, ever! TNA is the bestest evar!"

I watched the iPad promo with Eldest Daughter today, so we could giggle at the goofy-looking talking heads they trot out to get their hype on. If you haven't seen it, you can see it here. It's entertaining and informative!

But I found this video more entertaining... if you haven't seen the original video on the Apple site, go watch some (or all) of it first, then chuckle at this one...

Getting back to my "love/hate" thing with the little "i", I had the same problem with Nintendo, when they released the Wii. Yeah, on the one hand, it's clever... it sounds like "we", so it encourages group gaming, and visually, the two "i's" next to each other also look like two people standing together, presumably to have fun playing together, I get it. But like the "iPad", the Wii lends itself too easily to crude, lame humor. It's easily mocked. "Playing with my Wii" became the joke of every English-speaking schoolkid worldwide. Just like "iPad" has already garnered a ridiculous amount of jokes about Apple producing feminine hygiene products now... even on the day of it's announcement, the jokes began to flood in.

I don't know... somewhere at both Apple and Nintendo are groups of marketers and Vice Presidents who think too highly of themselves... do a little research before setting yourself up to easily-avoidable ridicule! That's what you get paid crazy amounts of money for! Well, at least it should be...

On a completely unrelated note, I think I'm going to stop embedding video's from They seem to be playing random ads/commercials in front of them all the time now, and I was a little miffed at some of the stuff I've been seeing. I apologize if I've inadvertently offended anyone by sharing funny clips. I had/have no control over what they put first. If I can't find the clips of YouTube, I won't embed them.

Like this one!

It's a follow-up to that blind-folded half-court shot I posted previously. A reporter was filming an intro to a news story on that shot, and made a shot even more incredible...

Crazy. I wonder how many takes it took him to make that?

I spent some quality time rewriting some of my fantasy novel today, to send off to the writer's group in prep for the next meeting. Rewriting is FUN! It's a different type of fun than cranking out first draft. I tweaked and polished a couple chapters today until they sparkled with new life and zest! I'm going to read the text aloud one more time, and see how it rolls off the tongue, then send it off on Friday.

We'll see how fun the rewriting process is once I do it a few dozen times! O_O

I am done for the day. A lot of babble. Thanks for stopping by to skim the text. By brother John says that's what he does... he skims over it to see if I mention him at all... John! I mentioned you! If you made it to the end before browsing away, this is your reward!



PS As much as I hate to have to do it, I reactivated the Capcha thing for the comments. I apologize for the inconvenience. I've been getting a lot of spam comments lately.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lord, You Have Assigned Me My Portion and My Cup. (Psalm 16:5)

"I'll Follow the Sun" or "I'll Swallow the Fun", you decide...

Greetings one and all! Dave the Flatulent here, with another daily dose of hot air...

Went to my first "writer's group" meeting tonight... I suppose I should start there, since that's the big news of the day. The other three writer's are a cool bunch. We are working on 4 vastly different projects, which is interesting, to say the least.

Jesse is working on a zombie novel, which is (I exaggerate not) better  than most of what I read last year (with the exception of a few titles at/near the top of my list of '09 reads over there). It's a great, great read. RoseAnn is working on a book that is hard for me to classify... not sure I should try... it's sort of a humorous, fictional retrospective piece, written in the first person from a woman's perspective as she deals with her husband and a couple other close family members... not sure what to label that as... and Erick (the group leader) is writing a dark, somewhat occultish mystery novel... not exactly a genre I'd choose to read for entertainment, but it could prove interesting.

And then my fantasy novel... the sample I sent was well-received, and well-critiqued, lol. Hey, Vye and Abbie, they all liked your characters so far! I haven't told them yet that all the characters are based on real people... there wasn't much time to discuss the project itself, it was more a chance to send people material and then gather to hear their suggestions for improving said material...

One thing I learned (eventually!) was that it's not supposed to be a group discussion, per se... when one person is offering notes on the submitted chapters, the other two members are supposed to listen quietly until it's his/her turn to offer critique... I thought it was a round-table thing, and kept chiming in when others were discussing... it finally dawned on me that protocol is to wait until it's your turn, or until you are specifically asked something. Ah, well, it was my first night...

So it's a good group, and I look forward to getting help... though I'm still not finished with the first draft! These guys are working on polished/rewritten segments of their (presumably finished) scripts. I guess I'm going to have to split time between finishing the rough draft and polishing material to send off each week...

OK, enough of that...

I got my books from Amazon today, yay! The Superfoods book by David Wolfe, and my Complete Beatles Songbook. And my sister ordered this workout program called P90X that is supposed to be all the rage currently. She's going to let me make dupes of the discs and try it out - I just have to buy a set of those giant rubber bands and a chin-up bar... so my plans to revamp both my diet and my physique are nearing reality! I'll get all ripped and healthy, then you'll all love me again... I mean, I lost a lot of love by making you read so many paragraghs about my Writer's Group meeting tonight... I have to earn it back somehow...

Here's a cool video for you...

A few months back, I posted a video of a prank a guy played on his buddy (they're locked in an epic internet prank war), where he secretly arranged for his friend to be selected from the crowd at the halftime events of a professional basketball game, and given the chance to sink a blindfolded half-court shot for five-hundred grand or something... while the friend was off signing the release papers, the pranker got on the mike and told everyone about the prank, asking them to cheer wildly after his friend missed the shot, to convince him that he'd actually made it and won the dough. Then his pal would come out with the big fake check and reveal the prank. It was pretty funny, actually...

Anyway, in this video, a high school in Kansas decided to pull the same prank on their coach, blindfolding him, spinning him around, and having him try a shot... they were all going to cheer and prank him into thinking he made the shot... the only flaw in the plan was... the coach actually made the shot...

Wow, was all that build-up worth the video? Something tells me not. Hmm. I guess I'm stuck in Terminally Boring Mode tonight...

Well, maybe this will work. Over on Kristopher's Blog, he has a post called The Top 10 Things George Lucas Did To Ruin Star Wars, which is worth reading if that sort of thing interests you. Over in Logan's Blog, he has some good thoughts on The Bible and Bigotry. Definitely worth reading, I thought. And on Rebecca's Blog, she's planning on a series of posts sharing some juicy material she received at a Writer's Conference a few years back, that is languishing on her shelf... if you're a writer, check in now and then to see the info she shares; it should be a benefit.

Hmm... no Funny Pictures to share tonight...

Well, over on This Is Why You're Fat, some guy posted a pic of a BLT sandwich with a pound of bacon on it...

You can go over there to see many, many other gastronomical disasters, if that sort of thing interests you. Like watching a dietary trainwreck, I suppose...

OK, I'm done. I hope your week is progressing well. See ya when I see ya...


Monday, January 25, 2010

How Long Will You Hide Your Face From Me? (Psalm 13:1)

I try to put myself in your shoes, as a reader who drops in to see what's up... Would I want to read fun, random stuff that is passingly amusing, in the hopes that my mood is improved a smidgen, and I can carry on about my day a half-step higher in mood? Or do I want to read about the contents of the matter that has hit the fan in Dave's life in the past 24-48 hours, knowing I can do nothing about it but hope/pray that it improves, and sneak back out the blog door, a half-step lower than when I arrived?

I know I've dropped the whole "Gee, I wish I could just uncork here and let all the dirty laundry out, along with all the questions I agonize over, both recent and long-term," and that you all seem to reply "Go for it, Dave! It's your blog, let 'er rip!" and I appreciate that. Still, I can't help but think most of it is much ado about nothing (or at least, much ado about nothing you should be concerned/burdened with), and so the risk of ultimately driving you away from here completely compels me to keep a lid on the vomit I'd spew in here if it were just me...

That having been said, here's a Funny Picture...

Come on, admit it... that's pretty funny.

I will ask you this: Complete honesty in relationships... Possible? Preferable? Ill advised? Avoid at all cost? Is there supposed to come a time (say, after 20 years or so!) when you should be able to talk about anything with your spouse, and answer any question with complete honesty, regardless of the topic? Or will there forever remain the need to heavily edit (i.e. lie) about many/most in-depth, sensitive issues? If you could ask your significant other absolutely any question and know that, for better or for worse, you'll get a 100% honest answer, would that encourage you to ask, or scare you away?

While you chew on that, here's a video of "the one that got away"... if you hate spiders, do not watch this clip...


Got a jam-packed week ahead of me, work-wise. Two Piranha Marketing projects (newsletters & interview edit/format) and a long list of things to do for the Rug Shop website. Plus, I have to prep for the "writer's club" meeting on Tuesday night. I have sample chapters from two out of the three other group members at the moment... I've started reading both, and man, these chaps can write! Makes me feel self-conscious... I've been re-reading some of what I sent them, and my old inferiority complex (which I actually thought was dead) has peeked its head in to say hello again...

I'll definitely let you know how it goes. What my writing lacks in polish, it makes up for with fart jokes... actually, I'm very happy with the progress made thus far on my fantasy novel. I'm going to put my thick skin on and go to the meeting with an open mind. I really do want to improve as a writer; I'm hoping this is a big step in that direction.

Well, Avatar has officially become the highest grossing movie ever. Took it about a month? That's crazy. I still haven't seen it! Dangit, I need to go check it out before it leaves the theater... though I'm pretty sure it will stay in at least through the Oscars. Don't know if it will stay in IMAX that long... I want to check it out in 3D IMAX... especially since I have 2 free passes right here in my desk drawer... won't cost me a dime...

Think of what I could do with the money I'd save, not having to buy IMAX tickets! I could get that porkpie hat I've always wanted! Really, the only reason I want a porkpie hat is because it's so fun to say. Here, try it... "Porkpie hat"... cool, eh? Although "derby" is fun to say as well...

Still hooked fairly strongly on Gardens of the Moon, by Steven Erikson. In fact, I think I'll go prepare for bed and read into the wee hours.

Until we meet again, adios!


PS Oh, what the heck... go ahead and ask me any question at all, and I'll answer it with complete honesty! I'll consider it research. ( O_o If it's embarrassing to either of us, I'll have to email you the answer!)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Faithful Have Vanished From Among Men (Psalm 12:1)

Yeah, well, I just don't know... This is one of those times when I want to post something, but don't really have much to say...

I'm in a writer's group as of today! I guess that's something. It's a local group of a couple writers that will meet every Tuesday about 30 minutes away from my house. Rebecca put me in touch with the guy in charge, and I was bummed because they met Wednesday nights... that's the only weeknight I already have something set in stone. When I relayed that info, he polled the rest of the group and they agreed to switch nights so I could join them. Crazy, eh? I feel bad about that. I didn't ask them to do it, they just did it.

Anyway, I sent off some samples of the current novel I'm toiling away on, and we'll see where it goes from there.

I bet you're wondering how things are going on the Facebook Scrabble front, eh? Well, check out this list of people I currently have games going with: Cathy, Mike, Beth, Havah, Rebecca, Vye, Abbie, and Rebekah! Is that awesome or what? 8 games at once! I'm in heaven! Or wordvana, or whatever....

Got my hair cut tonight. Are you proud of me? Do you find that entertaining?

No? Well, how about this?

Dang, that kid could rock it for being eight years old...

I've never been a fan of heavy metal. (How's that for a segue?). I've been a fan of just about every kind of music over the years, but metal never really did it for me. That having been said, I was recently boppin' around the net, and read an online article on Rolling Stone's website called "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs Ever", and most of them had links to videos of the songs being performed (a few broken links). They ranked Chuck Berry's "Johnny B Good" as the greatest guitar song of all time.

Anyway, while I was perusing the article, and checking out the occasional clip, for some reason, I clicked on the video for Master of Puppets by Metallica, recorded live at a concert in 1989. Now, again, I'm not a heavy metal fan... nor am I trying to make an argument for the genre, and persuade anyone to become a metal head. That being said, I am a fan of great music, and honestly, I don't know if I've ever seen such an intense, energetic, amazing performance, any genre. I'm going to embed the video here, knowing it is likely that no one will watch it (or if you do, that you'll get very far into it), but I'd feel lame/dishonest if I didn't post it here...

They're kinda freaky looking, especially the bass player, but it strikes me as "stage personas" more than anything else. Doesn't put me off at all, really. It's not like I think they're "evil", just entertaining the masses... masses which, I noticed, seemed to be all guys. Didn't notice a single female in the audience, lol...

Yeah, I know... Shirley Temple and Metallica in the same post... perhaps the most random combination ever. I can't help it - something about the strength not just of the music but of the way it is performed really gelled with me. I've since watched other versions of this song, performed throughout the years since, but this 1989 one is light-years beyond the rest.

I'm a sucker for "Greatest" lists... the latest PC Gamer magazine has a story about their picks for the 100 Greatest PC Games of All Time, which I poured over, taking note of things I agreed and disagreed with, as well as games on the list I've played and not played before... I've played 33 of the games (if you count tinkering with demos), but not the one they claimed was the best game ever... Deus Ex. That likely won't mean anything to anyone else here, sorry. I'm kind of surprised that Half-Life 2 didn't get the top spot.

Here's the top 20, in case you were curious:
20 World of Goo
19 Hitman: Blood Money
18 UT2K4
17 Portal
16 System Shock 2
14 World of Warcraft
13 Counter-strike
12 Civ IV
11 X-COM: UFO Defense
10 Fallout 3
9 Thief 2
8 Planetscape: Torment
7 Fallout
6 Oblivion
5 Rome: Total War
4 Half-Life
3 Team Fortress 2
2 Half-Life2
1 Deus Ex

Yeah, I know, I'm all over the place tonight. What can I say? It's one of those nights...

I'm going to go see if it's my move in any of my Scrabble games... adios for now.

Dave the Goof

Friday, January 22, 2010

When the Foundations are Being Destroyed, What Can the Righteous Do? (Psalm 11:3)

Yeah, I know... it's 1 am, and I should be reading and drifting off to sleep right about now. Well, I felt the urge to write a blog post, so there! The urge manifests itself as pressure in my lower abdomen... it isn't painful, but it cannot be ignored. If I don't relieve the pressure - and frequently - it builds to very uncomfortable levels and then I become cranky... then once it is released, it makes everyone around me miserable too!

OK, you got me. I was talking about gas, not about blogging. Man, you saw right through me! Am I really that obvious, when it comes to twisting any topic around into passing wind? Really? Oh, but you find it endearing, right? A quality you wished you likewise possessed... or that you hope your future mate possesses... whatever the case may be...

On a completely unrelated note (that I will twist at the end into a gas reference, no doubt), I edited an interview transcript for Piranha Marketing where Joe Polish interviewed superfoods expert David Wolfe. It was a great interview - I ended up buying his latest book. Perhaps I'll be able to successfully modify my diet to include more raw foods, superfoods and superherbs! Then I'll be healthy and happy and my wife will love me again!

Actually, things are strangely good between wifey and I at the moment... it makes me nervous. Occasionally, things will improve between us, and I lull myself into a false state of confidence that the rough patches are behind us, and that only good road lay ahead... then out of the blue, it hits the fan again. It never ceases to frustrate and sadden me... but for now, things are good, and I'm going to try like sixty to keep it that way. Just because I've never succeeded before doesn't mean I won't this time!

Right? O_o

Here's another funny little tidbit about the superfoods guy interview... after I finished editing it, I dropped a quick email to my contact at Piranha, telling her how much I enjoyed the interview, and that I bought the book, etc. Well, she forwarded my comments to Joe Polish, who then forwarded them to David Wolfe... good thing I didn't insult him! Then I would have had a repeat of the previous episode with the "author who shall remain unnamed to avoid having her see this reference on Google Alerts"... whew! This time, my words unexpectedly found the author, and it was a good thing!

Funny Cat Picture #1

After mentioning that I wanted to go to the theater in the previous post, I immediately got invitations to go see Book of Eli with Joe and Johnnay, and Avatar with Shannon and Yanni. In both cases, they had made plans already, and extended the invitations to include me. How cool is that! I thought I could make one or both happen, but the timing just didn't work out. Sadly, it's probably a good thing... if Wifey found out I went to the movies without her, it would likely have signaled the end of the current good stretch...

You know what I pondered tonight? Maybe part of the problem is that I'm subconsciously more comfortable when things are tense between us. When things are good, I'm on pins and needles trying to make it last as long as possible without screwing it up... when it's soured, I know exactly where I stand. Then I can be on familiar ground: dismal and complaining. Isn't that sad? I hope it isn't true... cuz that would mean I'm likely sabotaging things subconsciously as well... I'm always the first to state (and loudly) that I wish that we could mesh better... but do I really?

Uh oh, I better not pursue that line of thought...

Here, let me twist things back into gas again...

Jack Vale saves the day!

Back to the superfoods guy... his interview was exactly twice as long as the normal interview I edit and format each month... normally, final transcripts finish at between 40 and 45 pages... this one was 86 pages. The reason I bring it up is that I heard from Sister that the next interview is also an extra long one... I wonder if that's a future trend. I charge a certain amount to edit/format the transcripts and make a "hot tips" sheet... it's a flat "per transcript" rate based upon the approximate time it takes to do the work... Twice the text = twice the time and effort... should I charge twice the fee? That could catch them off guard... if it's just an isolated interview (or two), I should keep the standard flat rate... right? I don't want to piss off my best client... but if the transcripts are all going to now be behemoths, perhaps I should recalibrate the charge...

Wow, that was boring. Sorry. Here's another cat pic...

Funny Cat Picture #2

Remember that time I just suddenly ended my blog post right after a Funny Cat Picture, without tying the thread up in any way? I just left it hanging, unresolved!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why Do You Hide Yourself in Times of Trouble? (Psalm 10:1)

Rainy, rain day! I love it.

Though it did thunder/lightning for a while tonight, so I had to shut down my computer(s) and unplug them all, just in case. It felt weird not having them on. It did give me plenty of time to play my guitar. In fact, Wifey has asked me to show her some chords, so I'm beginning the process of teaching her to play! She's practicing E and D. When she can switch back and forth between them fairly quickly, and play clearly, I'll introduce some more chords. I remember how awkward it was first starting out, trying to get your fingers to obey, feeling ridiculous.

Check out this synth guitar touch-pad thingy...

Weird, eh?

Anyway, Wifey and I have so little in common, it's kind of nice to find something we can both do together. But she wants to take ballroom dancing classes with me... O_O   If I take the hit and go to dance classes, I'll post some pics/videos up here so you all can ridicule me mercilessly...

I could always take up the drums...

Dang. I wonder what Sandi would say to that...?

I'm sure most of you saw Logan's post the other day with his expanded collection of lists (things he's done/not done/wants to do/doesn't want to do). I noticed a list conspicuous in its absence... List of Things I Wish I'd Never Done... then the more I thought about it, the more I realized I should avoid that list at all costs...

I'm still reading The Gardens of the Moon, by Steven Erikson. To be honest, between pages 50 and 75 it almost lost me... then it took off, I mean, like a rocket. I don't know what time I finally zonked out last night, but I haven't had a case of "just one more chapter" like that since Abercrombie. I love when that happens!

I won't give specifics, to avoid spoilers in case one of you plans on reading the series ever, but there's one main character who's just sailing along in his storyline, and literally out of the blue is very unexpectedly killed. Then it shows what happens to him on the "other side" of death, and the sequence of cool events that happen that send him back to life again... I tell ya, I haven't read something that cool in a looong time. I have to be vague, again, to avoid spoiling things, but trust me, it was very, very cool.

Still making slow but steady progress on my novel. I keep going back and forth about posting a sample up here... I'm sure the text in its current form will differ fairly drastically from the final text after several revisions/rewrites... the rough draft is basically just getting the story down... refining/enhancing the characters and dialog is where the fun is going to be. I don't want y'all to think less of me for posting inferior, unpolished text... yet I'm wanting to share it! We'll see...

I bought a Beatles chord book from Amazon on Wednesday... it has all the Beatles songs in there, so I'll be able to play some of my favorites on my guitar soon. I've been going through my old church-song songbook from my archive... man, there are tons of great songs we never sing at church any more! I wonder why? I'm thinking of assembling a list and asking Stan (our worship leader) if we can dust off some of the great old songs that have fallen by the wayside. Maybe there's a reason we don't sing them anymore, I don't know... all I do know is I had a great time tonight playing some of them...

I may hit the theater soon... want to see Avatar, Sherlock Holmes and the Book of Eli... anyone want to join me?

I think I'm going to go slay some zombies, write a bit, read a bit and then go the heck to bed. Talk to you all soon...

Dave the Goof

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Now-Legendary Camp Slideshow

Here's the camp slideshow, in case you wanted to see a bit of the infamous project that took so long to create... It's about 17 minutes long, so beware!


Monday, January 18, 2010

What is Man, That You Are Mindful of Him? (Psalm 8:4)

Let the rain begin!

So, Southern California is slated to get some Biblical-level rain for the next 10 days... I rather like the rain, myself... of course, it has its drawbacks.

Work-related minus: Not exactly great rug-drying weather... slow turn-around times, plus limited indoor space.
Work-related plus: The odds are we'll get a lot of flood orders in, which will help to counter our traditionally slow February.

So that's a mixed blessing there.

Personal plus: I love the rain, sorry. I love the sound of it through a slightly open window. I love to hear it draining through the rain gutters outside. I love when it roars on the roof. I love thunder and lightning, though I don't think we'll be getting any of that this time around.
Personal minus: I don't love the sound of water dripping into pans in the kitchen, from the unseen leak that somehow leads to the ceiling lights. I hate the ants that take refuge inside our house when it rains.

Also, in San Diego, when it rains, people freak out on the road, and there are crashes everywhere. So slow traffic is to be expected. On the plus side, we'll get our lake back! Yay! I should have taken a "before" picture of the lake... maybe I can sneak one in on Monday. Then I'll take an "after" in 2 weeks for comparison's sake. Should probably get a before/after over by the dam as well...

I wonder what would have happened if the Chargers had won today? I mean, if the next playoff game would have been in San Diego, the field would have been a total chocolate mess next Sunday. So maybe it's good that they lost today!

On a side note, I'm not too moved by the Charger loss, really. It's nice that they did well this year. I didn't watch the game today, but even if I would have, I get more pleasure out of great football, regardless of the teams or the victor, than I do out of pulling for a particular team. I've been an uber-fan before, and that's nothing but heartache. I get plenty of that in my day-to-day life, I don't need to add more, thanks.

You have to check THIS OUT. It's a link to an article about the sounds that ice sheets make on a frozen lake as they shift around. It literally sounds like a blaster fight in a Star Wars film, only cooler! Pew pew pew pew! It's actually far cooler than I can describe. If I knew how to embed the audio player, I'd do it here...

I went to church tonight! And I took my camera! "Why?" you may ask? Well, I don't know, really. I occasionally take my camera and snap random pics at church, since you never know who might not ever be there again. I learned that from my brother Bryan. One week he was there, as usual, the next week he was gone. If I'd known, I would have snapped more pics of him while I had the chance. Kind of morbid, I know... but it also (obviously) captures a particular moment of time in people's lives, which is also a decent reason to snap a few pics...

Rebecca, Hadassah and Lloyd! Hadassah forgot her Bible, but at least she remembered her Algebra 2!

I told Yanni I'd call this shot "Yanni Just Took a Whiz"... well, because he'd just returned from the restroom, that's why!

Laythe is preparing to give himself a haircut...

Pastor Stan and Yours Truly. Look how long my beard is again! It looks like a goatee, but it isn't... you just can't see the jawline fuzz, cuz my hoodie's in the way...

Rebekah, Chris and Abbie. I don't have a witty comment here, sorry. Too stunned by all that beauty!

Shannon! That's Benny and Lloyd in the background... I thought Shannon was going to hit me with her purse for taking her picture, but I got away unharmed! MUAHAHAH!!!!

On a related note, my dad came by on Thursday afternoon, and we had a great, long chat. Plus, he brought back my guitar! He took it to restring it a few weeks back, and brought it back. It sounds awesome.

It's an old Fender acoustic - it's older than I am, actually... which puts it at 40+ years old... I'd have to get the exact data from dad, sorry. Anyway, I played the heck out of it years ago, when Dad first taught me to play. Wrote a bunch of songs on it - over 30 songs, almost all scripture songs. A couple of them we sing occasionally during our worship service. Anyway, then, as is my unfortunate custom, one day I just stopped playing, and have barely touched the thing since. I've played it more since I got it back on Thursday than I have the past 2 years together...

There's a close-up of the neck, just to prove that it really is a Fender! You know how prone I am to lying about guitars...

OK, well, thanks for your patience as I inundate this post with pictures... I hope your week is a good one.


PS I added a link to Rebecca's blog in the sidebar on the right... it's the one called My Heart's Truth Still Sings. Check it out and drop a comment, if you get a chance. Welcome her to the blog world!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy St. Bryan's Day! If You Aren't Wearing Green, I Get To Pinch You!


I was intrigued by a comment that Krista made over on Logan's blog today, where she said she'd never watched an episode of LOST before... I thought, "wow, there's a person who's never watched LOST?" But then I thought, there's gotta be popular shtuff that I've never done, so I started making a list...

Popular Stuff Dave has Never Done
- Never watched an episode of Seinfeld.
- Never read a Harry Potter book or watched any of the movies
- Never read a Twilight book, or watched any of the movies
- Never played a Final Fantasy game
- Never smoked a cigarette or tried any drug (granted, I'm rather proud of that...)
- Never been to a U2 concert
- Never done one of those "facebook quizzes"
- Never played Dungeons & Dragons

That's all I got so far... this is the interractive part, where I say "Hey, tell me something popular that you've never done! Leave a comment!" Then you feel manipulated, and hate me.... what? You *don't* hate me? You've *never* hated me? Cool! Put that on your list then!

Happy St. Bryan's Day! 10 years ago today, my brother Bryan died. Man, 10 years already? Sheesh! Ah, that was a rough week...

And now for something completely different... a space cannon!

I saw this in an article on Boing Boing... this guy is an expert in building "big guns", and he seems to think it's possible to build a cannon that will shoot supplies into space, rather than have them rocketed up... says it will lower the cost of getting supplies into space from $5,000 per pound down to $250 per pound. Of course, the force and speed generated seems to render the idea impossible... the canisters full of supplies would exit the cannon at about 13,000 miles per hour... I doubt they could fire any electronic equipment that way without destroying it...

I read another article way back about building a space elevator... lemme see if I can track down a link/pic...

Dang, there's all kinds of info on the space elevator project. Wikipedia has a page on. It seems the idea first arose back in 1895, believe it or not... here's a drawing, since I know you're all dying to know more...

The idea is to run cabling from a stationary platform on the earth's surface up to a platform in space, and raise/lower cargo on the cable. The trick is, you have to extend the cabling WAY out farther into space, with a counterweight on it, to counter the pull of gravity on the cable itself... otherwise the whole thing will crash to the earth. The recent breakthrough with carbon nano-tubing has made this project much more realistic now. The carbon nano-tubes - which are much stronger and lighter than steel - are still not quite light/strong enough to work... yet.

Gee, aren't you glad you read today's post? Something else you didn't need to know, and will quickly forget! That's what I'm here for! HERE is the article on the space cannon, and HERE is the wiki page on the space elevator...

...and HERE is a video of someone with limited brain power falling through the ice...

Whoever was filming sure didn't seem bothered by what just happened...

My friend Rebecca has started a blog! That's so cool. I wish all of you had blogs! And I wish that those of you that do have blogs (Paula!) would update, like, all the time (Yay Logan!)! Anyway, I'm going to make sure it's OK with Rebecca that I put a link to her blog, then y'all can go read it and leave comments and then the world will be right and good and full of light... or some such...

I added a couple new links in the sidebar thingy over there on the right. I put a link to Kristopher's blog, and to the Beatles jukebox on YouTube, and to the 1000 Awesome Things blog... check them out if/when you get a chance...

Gardens of the Moon is still holding my interest. There was a large-scale wizard battle that just happened, with thousands of dead... grim. I guess that's another one of the Fantasy story elements I'm trying to do without... massive battles with tons of dead and dying... seems every fantasy book I read has that... is it still a fantasy book if there are no huge battles? Would that be interesting to you? No Dark Lord character? No end of the world scenario? No scrappy underdog against impossible odds? No awkward Romeo-and-Juliet type romances, or love triangles?

I guess if you drop enough of those elements, it ceases to be fantasy. I guess the elements that MUST be there (for it to be fantasy) are: a planet/land that is not earth; weird names; magic; major, realm-wide crisis.

What else? What else does a story need to be considered "fantasy", do you think? I know, in a way, all fiction is "fantasy", I get that... I mean, to qualify as belonging in the "fantasy/sci-fi" section of the bookstore...

Actually, the idea that started me on the fantasy novel I'm writing was this: Can you write a compelling fantasy novel with no bad guys in it?

That was my initial challenge. Have "good guys" that are simply dangerously mistaken about something, and need to be "defeated" by other good guys... can a "villain" be a villain if he/she is basically good, and not motivated by evil? What if he/she is convinced that the course of action that he/she is set upon is actually for the good of the people/land, and cannot be dissuaded? He/She would need to be overthrown... could that plot device be compelling enough to make a great story, or will it lack the necessary depth/substance necessary to provide a good ride?

Animal Photobomb!

Hi mom!

I'm not sure I have much else to say. I will, therefore, pull the plug and say Adios for now!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

If He Does Not Relent, He Will Sharpen His Sword, He Will Bend and String His Bow. (Psalm 7:12)

OK, so there was this one time when I ate way, waaay too much "blue corn chips and mango salsa" and thought I could counter the effects by drinking three large glasses of water and then a bag of "sweet and hot" beef jerky as a chaser... yeah, that was a fun night... in fact, that was tonight... yeah, I'm pretty much an idiot... I'm not exactly known for my stellar eating habits. I just checked the odds in Vegas... 3 to 1 odds I'll be up most of the night with Acid Reflux...

But you know what? I don't care! It was worth it, every bite! In fact, I'm not even going to floss! So I can enjoy the jerky all night long! Cuz that's the way I do!

OK, yeah, it was a mistake. Add "occasional gluttony" to my list of shortcomings. I'd go do the ancient Roman thing and "purge" myself... but real men don't "purge"... and y'all know what a real man I am... BUAHAHAHA!!!

Sorry, couldn't say that with a straight face...

Thank you to everyone that commented on the previous post! Every one of you is awesome! Even Ann, and I don't even know who he/she is! In fact, I will now rank all of my blog readers in order of personal favorites... *ahem*... ok, let's see... who do I like best..?

Yeah, I'm not *that* dumb, thank you very much...

That was a beastly game of Facebook Scrabble I played with Mike D on Tuesday... look at all those bingos! Unfortunately, not enough of them were mine. GLORIOUS was one of Mike's, which netted him 131 points alone... I had some good plays, but not good enough to beat 3 bingos. Kudos to Mike.

Made some updates to Rug Care Central today... two new posts on the front page. Come on, you *know* you want to click THIS LINK to go see it, even if you care nothing for oriental rugs... you'll go to check it out just so that the traffic numbers will spike for Thursday, and then I can point them out to mom on Friday and say, "See? What I'm doing is working! People are flooding the site now!"

Besides, where else will you learn how *not* to wash a flokati? And the hand in the fourth picture down - that's my hand! I'm famous!

Only one thing will do right now. And that is, Maru the Cat, in slow motion...

Well, at least we have that going for us...

OK, fine, geez... too cutesy for most of you. Here, here's another video, as a compromise...

Dude, I am so done for the day. Got things to do, places to go, people to see... ok, fine, I'm going to kill some zombies, read, and then lay staring at the ceiling in the pitch dark for a few long hours...


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Rabbit Hole" or "Habit Roll," Which One?

Tuesday evening, a little after 10 pm Pacific. Interior office, night. 

DAVE sits at his computer, as usual, trying desperately to find meaning in what he occupied himself with today. He hasn't left the house at all today. His day has been a typical mix of work and play, with occasional forays out into the kitchen or livingroom, wandering in a daze, trying to extricate himself from the double-edged sword of his daily routine, which at once brings him comfort and depression. Like a vortex, his office sucks him back in, where he sits, alone, staring at a pair of monitors, engaging in a rotating array of activities, never doing one thing for very long. He searches for meaning, for a sense of accomplishment, for a feeling of purpose.

He contemplates writing a poem, and dismisses it, feeling he wouldn't be able to be subtle enough about what weighs heavily upon his heart to avoid making people feel uncomfortable reading it. The title itself - "Alone In A House Full of People" - is enough to drive readers away, and he can't have that. He covets comments, and people won't comment if they aren't coming to the blog anymore! DAVE realizes it's rather pathetic to get his validation from blog comments, but at the moment, pathetic or not, he'll take what he can get.

DAVE sighs and resigns himself to the fact that he'll once again default to blogging about the barely-interesting details of his day, hoping to squeeze in just enough strained humor and forced optimism to make his visitors feel reading the post was worth doing. Inside, he wishes he could just cut loose and unpack his heart in a giant block of uninterrupted literary vomit, screaming from the rooftop of his little corner of the world, but he knows that would be unseemly. So, sitting in his chair, fingers poised on his backlit keyboard, he sighs and begins to type.

Greetings all! Dave here, with another daily dose of drivel! Take a gander at the sky in that pic there... amazing, eh? I wonder where that is?

It's been a good day today, really. I'm taking a "big picture" approach in saying that... I have a lot to be thankful for, so complaining about the "little things" will get me nowhere...

Started a new book last night. Was feeling out of sorts, so I made myself an ice cream Sunday, then sat in the bathtub, reading Gardens of the Moon, by Steven Erikson. It's Book One in his 10-book series called the Malazan Book of the Fallen. The thought of once again diving into a Fantasy World with new weirdly-named people, places and histories was initially daunting, but I made myself focus and dive in. I'm glad I did - the story hits the ground running, and the writing is quite good thus far. I'm pleased, and shall proceed accordingly.

Also, made more progress on my own novel tonight. I've decided to try my hand at working out a gameplan for the week, as far as forcing myself into a different daily/weekly schedule. Instead of just telling myself I want to write every day, I'm setting a specific time slot (in my case 9pm to 10:30 pm each night), and I'll do the same with exercise (pushups/situps each morning at this time, walk the hill on these days at this time, etc.), and diet.

I broke my "no soda" resolution today... what can I say? I was in a funk, I'd made some chili, and the case of Dr. Pepper was right there, taunting me. I gave in. Hopefully it will be a one-time event.

I finally got to see the chiropractor on Monday. He fixed my back and neck, and then scolded me for sleeping on the couch. He said I'd be better off sleeping on the floor. I had planned to be back in my own bed, with my own Wifey as of Jan 1st, but apparently, that ain't gonna happen any time soon. I'm thinking of just buying a futon and setting up in my office. If I get a chamberpot, I'll never have to leave!

Tonight, the girls were in the other room watching American Idol, which I could hear in the background. At one point, some guy was singing a weird rendition of All My Loving, by the Beatles. After a few lines, my 4 year old says, "Hey, that's the Beatles!" Eldest Daughter said, "No, it isn't... wait, is it the Beatles?" Wifey agreed that it was, in fact, a Beatles song, and then they all marveled that a 4 year old could recognize the song, especially how it was being sung.

Ah, that's one of those moments that is much cooler in the occurrence than in the retelling. Sorry, I guess you had to be there...

Funny T-Shirt Time!

Awesome. My mustache, at its longest, was a haphazard mess...

Blackjack humor! Yeah, I know... but double-entendres are all the rage nowadays...

And now, a Cute/Funny Animal Picture, just to lift the post vibe a bit further...


Have a big business meeting planned at the Rug Shop on Wednesday. We're going to try and revamp and reinvigorate our business plan. I hope I'm able to focus and actually contribute something productive to the conversation. I'm such a space cadet sometimes, especially when I'm in an extended blue funk.

At least I have some good Facebook Scrabble games going, which always makes me happy, win or lose. Right now, I have games going with Mike D, Beth A, Cathy O, Abbie J and Rebecca J, with an open invitation to Rebekah M., if she ever wants to join in on the fun... if any of you reading this want to get a game going, let me know! It's very casual - you make a move at your own convenience. We don't have to both be online playing at the same time. Play at your own pace, when you have time. Very cool.

If I haven't expressed my appreciation for all your friendships (both real life and virtual) lately, let me do that now. Sorry to get all mushy about things, but you guys keep me sane. Thanks for your support and friendship.

Guess I'm going to hit the road now. I hope you all are having a great week. Rest well, Havah, wherever you are.



Interior office, night. DAVE hits the "publish post" button on his blog, and lets slip yet another sigh. His confidence is cracked but holding. He feels he should be fine for the short term, but the weeks stretch out ahead of him in an increasingly dark progression. He hopes that it is merely a byproduct of the time of year, and that as Spring approaches, his prospects will improve, both personally and in business.  He tries to take the edge off by reminding himself that it is likely that half the earth's population would gladly change lives with him, given the opportunity, since he has so bloody much going for him, in spite of the "problems" that pound on him. It works to a point, as usual. For now, all he can do is toss up another small prayer, and see to the next task immediately before him.

Monday, January 11, 2010

But I, By Your Great Mercy, Will Come Into Your House. (Psalm 5:7)

Greetings one and all!

For today, I've decided to make it a marathon post whining about my marriage...

I'm kidding! Sheesh!

A couple things today... first, a cool blog I found through Boing Boing, called Superuseless Superpowers. As you can tell from the title, people submit their ideas on the most useless superpowers someone could have, such as...

In-Flight Flight: Being able to soar through the air still won't save you from recycled oxygen and endless stories from complete strangers. Known as the "Cabin Sparrow," this so-called power lets you fly, but only within the confines of an airplane.

Shadow FlexBunny rabbits and birds. These are the normal human limits of shadow puppeteering. That is, unless you have ShadowFlex—the power to cast the shadow of a Bowflex home gym. Hairless, well-oiled pectorals not included.

Healing Punch: As a superhero, sometimes you have to resort to violence. Too bad your ferocious fists instantly heal the damage you inflict. Whereas most punches would deliver a crushing Ivan Drago-like knockout. Yours leave your opponent feeling amazingly refreshed and rejuvenated.

Find many more at The Superuseless Superpowers Blog.

Went this morning to hear my mother speak at a weaver's guild group here in Escondido. Lisa (my sister!) was there also! They tag-teamed the presentation, and then took questions and answers afterwards. I snagged a couple pics, to put on our Rug Care Central website tomorrow, but since you're all so special, I'm going to give you a sneak peek!

There's mom (on the right) and Lisa (on the left :D), in mid-presentation. I always hesitate to take pics, even from the back, since the flash is kinda distracting, and makes the speaker(s) more self-conscious. But we needed pics to post, so I did it anyway!

Lisa, in the post-chat Q&A deal afterwards, explaining something about rug construction, no doubt. Or discussing prostate examination... one of the two.... my sister's blog is called The Rug Chick Blog, and HERE is the link!

My mom's awesome. 'Nuff said. I bet my mom can do better rug repairs than your mom... so there! :P

I finished Gold of Kings last night. I better whip up a review. Here you go...

Gold of Kings, by Davis Bunn: A Review

I received this book in a website giveaway (Fiction Addict) a few weeks ago, and when it showed up in the mail, I shrugged my shoulders and set it on my shelf, next to other books I felt I would not likely read. Well, I don't mean that to be rude - I'd never heard of the book or the author, got it for free, etc. It was cool to win it, but I really didn't know when - or if - I'd get to it, with so many other great books ahead of it on my "to be read" list. But I'd just got done giving up on the previous fantasy novel (that unnamed book that proved a source of controversy!), and so it was the perfect time to pick up a new book.

So, what can I say? I grabbed it and started reading, deciding to give it a chance to hook me.

Right from the first page, I could tell it was going to be a good read. Davis Bunn is an author that knows his way around a page, that's for sure. Effective hooks, clean structure, easy to read, compelling characters, just the right amount of environmental description (enough to paint a quick picture without overdoing it), and good (occasionally great) dialog.

The 3 Key Players: Storm Syrell is the grand-daughter of a high-end antiques dealer - her renowned grandfather Sean (head of the family business) has just been murdered. Henry Bennett is a treasure hunter, and close friend of the recently murdered Sean, who has salvaged antiques and treasures for Sean for years. And rounding out the three main characters is Emma Webb, a US Government lawyer, who is assigned to protect Storm in light of Sean's death.

These three are sent on a wild ride on the trail of the Big Prize that got Sean killed in the first place - the gold treasures from King Herod's temple, that were somehow smuggled out of Jerusalem before the Roman's completed their siege in the first century AD and destroyed the city, tearing the temple down to the ground. The list of treasures they brought back to Rome as part of the victory spoils did not include a rather sizable list of items found in historical records of Herod's Temple. They are still out there, somewhere.

So the story is part treasure hunt, part spy thriller, part love story, and sadly, part cheese. The first half of the book is terrific. In fact, the writing is good/great throughout the whole book. But the story, in my opinion, fizzles. The climax is rather anti-climactic... but really, when pondering how I would have improved the ending, I was at a loss. The way the treasure hunt was resolved is likely the only way it could have been resolved, considering the way the story was crafted. So I can't fault the author there.

I can, however, fault him for the way the story finished up *after* the treasure hunt was resolved. Without giving too much away, there's a "rescue" scene toward the end which is, by all rights, ridiculous, and struck me as the author either deciding on his own - or feeling pressure from an outside source - to add a final (needed) punch to the tale, to make up for the (likely) unavoidably tepid resolution to the treasure hunt itself. It feels very tacked-on, very Hollywood, which saddened me.

But overall, the read was well worth it, even if only to see how a really good author can spin a great tale, and make it seem so effortless. I don't mean to sound down on the author - it is a good, fun, easy, satisfying and fairly quick read (at under 350 pages, hardback). I just wish there was some way to resolve the chase a bit better.

Summary: 4/5 stars. A good, solid read from a Christy Award Winning author who deserves a deeper look. I'll likely check out other books of his if I get the chance. He has many, though he has apparently dropped the T. from his name. He used to be T. Davis Bunn.


OK, I guess that's it for today. I have more to say, but I'll save it for tomorrow.

Until then, have fun!

Friday, January 8, 2010

When You Are on Your Beds, Search Your Hearts and Be Silent. (Psalm 4:4)

Fridayve! I made myself stay away from posting for an extra day... I'm trying to ween myself off of daily posting...

Well, a bunch of scattered little things to mention, but nothing major (as in, life-altering!)...

I'm adding followers still! How cool is that? I'm up to either 33 or 34.. for some reason, it keeps going back and forth. And in my "dashboard" view, it's different as well. Hey, it's all good. A lot of those people on my "follower" list don't read/comment, and many people who aren't on the follower list read every day and comment (Hi Abbie!), so the list is kinda arbitrary. Still, it makes me feel like what I'm doing here is still worthwhile, so there's that...


Rebecca hooked me up with a friend of hers that is in a writer's group, and is looking for new members. Apparently, they're all working on novels, so maybe it will help out! I'm going to contact the guy and see when/where they meet. I'll let you all know how it goes, since I know you're all so desperately interested!

January is "blast from the past" month apparently. First, I got an "out of the blue" email from a former member of my XTS clan - screen name was xtsCarnage. Carnage! I couldn't believe it! I could tell you stories... so could Joe and John... Carnage was sure a character. He's doing well. And then I find out yesterday that an old e-friend that I used to banter with daily on the IGN Titan Quest forum has resurfaced. He just up and disappeared one day, and we all feared the worst. That was over a year ago. Anyway, he's back and on his feet again, which is awesome.

OK, one last Bit of Mild Passing Interest, I'm finally going to sign Middle Child up to do some background work. Her grades are good, she has the work permit, and her enthusiasm is high. I was hoping to find a San Diego company to work with first, before we tried the LA thing, but it looks like the only San Diego company I can find only works when they've been hired to provide background people for specific projects in San Diego, which apparently doesn't happen too often. I may sign us up in LA after all. We'll see. I think I'm going to do it along with her. If I get in the background of any movie or TV show, I'll let you know! Then you can watch it, and then high-five me the next time you see me in person...

OK, enough nonsense, here's a couple Funny T-shirts to take the edge off...

Good advice, I think...

Math humor! Owned!

Religious humor... meh, sometimes it skirts the line, but I think in this case, it's amusing...

This one should be in my wardrobe... it's so me.

I guess that's it for today. Yeah, I know, mellow post, light on randomness... what can I say, my mind is a scramble at the moment. Too many losses in Facebook Scrabble lately... Mike D. and Beth A. are both making me look like a newb. My Scrabble Rating is plummeting. Do you pity me?

My current Favorite Beatles Song...

Well, the weekend is upon us. Hopefully, something cool and/or interesting will happen that I can share. Until then, adios.