"I brought a copy of my book with me," I told Mom, "But Mike bought it."
"What book?" she asked, puzzled.
"I told you last time I was here. I wrote a book."
"No you didn't."
"Yes I did." Mom's eighty four years old. She frowned, a kind of puzzled look on her face... like maybe I did tell her but she forgot. She's still young for her age, goes bowling every week.
"What kind of book?"
"Science fiction. You wouldn't like it, there's some harsh language."
"Oh, that's normal these days," she said.
"I should read some James Patterson," I said. "Almost every time I see a woman with a book, it's one of his. I need to find out what it is about his writing that women like so much. That guy must be a gillionaire."
"There's a James Patterson book by the door you might like," she said."It's his only science fiction book. I didn't care too much for that one."
"What does he usually write?" I'm thinking it's probably romance novels, fifty shades of green paper and the like.
Mom loves murder mysteries, always has. I never cared much for them, I guess it's a woman thing and why Patterson is so popular among women. Although I did enjoy Asimov's "Baily" trilogy, but I don't think I ever read anything by Asimov I didn't like.
I've been reading the book she gave me, When the Wind Blows.
Maybe it's hubris, but I think I write better than he does, especially since he has editors and proofreaders and typesetters. The story's pretty good so far, though. He's readable.
I did find a problem with my own writing Saturday. Betty came by with a friend who cleaned houses, and mine's filthy, so she brought her over to meet me. I'm going to pay her fifteen dollars for an hour's work Saturday mornings.
"I love your book," Betty said. "I'm on chapter three, I think. Except... some of those big words... are they real words I can look up in a dictionary?" She took a hit off the doobie and passed it to her friend, whose name I've forgotten.
"Most of them," I said. "Some are made up, like 'Stratodoober'."
I thought of the character in Mars, Ho!, the book I'be been working on but neglecting. "I ain't never went to college," the character says.
Betty's friend grinned and looked at me. "Yeah," I said. "It's something you get high with.
"Damn," Betty said. "I'm zombified. We have to go and I just want to sit here!"
They left and I got back to work on The Paxil Diaries. To use an old blacksmithing cliche, I have too many irons in the fire. I'm getting "Paxil" in printable form because people keep requesting it, getting Nobots into paperback form, working on the Mars book, and I've started one about my old Quake site. The computer's aging battery died, so I plugged it in and picked up the Patterson book.
He doesn't write bad, I'm sure I'll finish it. Nowhere near as bad as Stephen King says he is. King says Patterson "is a terrible writer, but very successful."
Marketing beats quality every time. That's a skill I wish I had.
Half a dozen people at Felbers have said they want to read Nobots, so I left a copy there yesterday. I guess I need to order some more...
From 1997 to 2003 I had a Quake web site, The Springfield Fragfest. Every December it sported presents: skins, maps, MP3s, Quake Christmas Carols. It's been fifteen years since it's been up.
I also can't find the "binary wallpaper". It was a small animated GIF of green ones and zeros on a black background that changed from zero to one seemingly randomly until they disappeared maybe thirty seconds later when the images at the top finished loading at 56k.
However, the MP3s of a twelve year old Patty singing "Rudolph the Four Legged Stroggie" and "I Saw Mommie Killing Santa Clause" are there.
Probably half the site is still up at archive.org.
Since I have a site again to p1mp my books with, I thought I'd re-post it this year, just click the link at the beginning of this JE. Enjoy!
Spies is online.
Thursday was the first time in 125 years that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fell on the same dates. According to the news reports, it won't happen again for another 70,000 years.
I picked Leila up about eight for the journey down to the St. Louis area. It was only 22 degrees F and the cold wind was blowing hard. It was almost as cold as Leila's mom's heart.
Leila has a habit of bringing most her electronic toys with her, even when they're redundant. I'd had a hard time returning the extra phone they'd sent, and since Leila had said she wanted it I'd given it to her as an early Christmas present. She brought it for the camera, her tablet for music, her CD player for more music, and a big bag of snacks. I'd talked her out of bringing her notebook; she had the tablet.
All I took was what's always in my pockets, a copy of Nobots (three were delivered Wednesday) and two bags of frozen Brussels' sprouts that I was going to cook at my mom's and take to my sister's.
We stopped off at Mike's place in Columbia on the way to Mom's. He'd asked me to drop by and look at his teenaged grandkids' XBoxes to see if I could fix the CDs. I hadn't looked inside an XBox but figured I might be able to replace them with CD players from old computers.
I've known Mike for forty years. He's probably my best friend.
"Come in," Rita responded to my knock. We did.
"Where's that old man?" I asked. Mike's ten years younger than me.
"He's still in bed. He was up until four drinking and bothering me while I was trying to cook. Go get his ass up!"
I went and turned on the light in his bedroom. "You're early," he said.
"No," I replied, "We're running late, stopped for breakfast on the way. It's ten thirty, get out of that bed!"
Mike Junior poured me a cup of coffee and Mike Senior came out. "Look what I have," I said, handing him the book.
"Cool! What do you get for these?"
"Twenty five bucks."
"What do they cost you?"
"I'll give you a twenty."
"Deal," I said. What's five bucks between old friends? Especially since he feeds me pot, beer, and food almost every time I visit.
"I still have that pocket knife your dad made," he said. After his retirement my dad made hand-crafted, very high quality pocket knives completely from scratch. Like I've mentioned, eye-hand coordination and creativity runs in the family -- his brother had gotten filthy rich making medical prosthetics. Fortunately for Uncle Dan his partner was an amputee and a born salesman, and salesmanship is something that doesn't run in the family. I couldn't sell a glass of water to a rich man dying of thirst.
Alas, the CD players in the XBoxes are entirely proprietary, with completely different form factors and electrical connectors than in a computer.
We stayed an hour or so. Mike gave me a couple of hits off his hitter. I asked him if Mike Jr. could get me one of the vaporizers he'd had the last time I'd come down and what they cost. "Ask Mike," Mike said.
It turns out the vaporizer was ninety nine bucks and the hash oil for it was hard to come by. "There's only one guy I can get it from," he said.
Pity, that thing was great -- I'd "smoked" out of it the last time I'd been down. Damned thing is one step closer to a stratodoober. Oh, well, when that new medical marijuana law they passed in Illinois comes into effect my insurance company will buy one for me and supply the oil. For my arthritis, of course.
I just uploaded Stratodoober Madness; it's online now.
Genuinely curious how the statists will argue that "wet is the new dry" on this one. Let the crapflooding commence.
Ace of Spades' Talking Points for Talking With Your Obnoxious Progressive Family Members About Obamacare This Thanksgiving
6. Remember when you were so confident, arrogant, snotty, sneering, and dismissive about legitimate and informed concerns about Obamacare? You were wrong. And you weren't just wrong on the facts, but you were wrong on a human level. You very nearly screamed your ignorant opinions and shouted down dissent. You sneered at people as ignorant who actually knew more than you did, and you indulged in entirely-unwarranted moral preening about your alleged concern for the poor. Despite the fact that you never do anything to actually aid the poor. Apparently shouting at relatives is your idea of "charity."
Read the whole thing.
The point of showing that Obama is carrying out a massive scheme to defraud â" one that certainly would be prosecuted if committed in the private sector â" is not to agitate for a prosecution that is never going to happen. It is to demonstrate that there is logic to the lies. There is an objective that the fraud aims to achieve. The scheme is the framework within which the myriad deceptions are peddled. Once you understand the scheme, once you can put the lies in a rational context, you understand why fraud was the presidentâ(TM)s only option â" and why âoeIf you like your plan, you can keep your planâ barely scratches the surface of Obamacareâ(TM)s deceit.
In 2003, when he was an ambitious Illinois state senator from a hyper-statist district, Obama declared:
I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health-care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. . . . Everybody in, nobody out. A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. Thatâ(TM)s what Iâ(TM)d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately.
That is the Obamacare scheme.
It is a Fabian plan to move an unwilling nation, rooted in free enterprise, into Washington-controlled, fully socialized medicine. As its tentacles spread over time, the scheme (a) pushes all Americans into government markets (a metastasizing blend of Medicare, Medicaid, and âoeexchangesâ run by state and federal agencies); (b) dictates the content of the âoeprivateâ insurance product; (c) sets the price; (d) micromanages the patient access, business practices, and fees of doctors; and (e) rations medical care. Concurrently, the scheme purposely sows a financing crisis into the system, designed to explode after Leviathan has so enveloped health care, and so decimated the private medical sector, that a British- or Canadian-style âoefreeâ system â" formerly unthinkable for the United States â" becomes the inexorable solution.
Once you grasp that this is the scheme, the imperative to lull the public with lies makes sense. Like all swindles, Obamacare cannot work if its targeted victims figure out the endgame before it is a fait accompli.
Avail yourself of the full thing.
I have a new working title for the new book: Mars, Ho! I've hardly looked at it lately. I've been working on the web site, reformatting Nobots for the paperback edition, and yes, working on getting a printed version of the Paxil Diaries. Ykant asked about that a couple of days ago but I was already working on it.
And I've been watching The Big Bang Theory. I'd downloaded season six at the end of the season but didn't have time to watch them. I thought I'd seen all of them, but MeTV has been showing syndicated reruns and I saw one I hadn't seen before. I saw the boxed set at the store and picked it up. I'd missed most of the season!
I've hardly been at Felbers at all. I've just had no time for drinking.
Yesterday they shipped the three copies of Nobots I ordered. I wonder when they'll get here?
The Obama presidency has had very little legislative success. Even the signature Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is imploding, and was dubbed a âoetrain wreckâ by one of its own Senatorial authors. The lead-from-behind retrenchment abroad from Americaâ(TM)s traditional leadership role has won few adherents. The Benghazi tragedy and the series of alphabet-soup debacles involving the IRS, the NSA, and the AP journalists are the most disturbing political scandals weâ(TM)ve seen since the Nixon administration.
What, then, is the Obama legacy? An insidious politicization of almost everything. Obamism has become a holistic concept of âoefundamentally transforming Americaâ that, like all ideologies, cannot be assessed solely by concrete laws and policies, but rather through a change in the mentality and spirit of Americans and those who govern them. Obama early on emphasized in messianic fashion that his hope-and-change agenda was not to be adjudicated by traditional metrics, but involved a cosmic transformation of hearts and minds: âoeI am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.â
Read the whole thing. VDH is one of the few modern academics worth a hoot.
Betty dropped by Saturday night for a visit. I'd asked her before I published if she'd proofread it, as she found the two deliberate typos in The Paxil Diaries (which I should publish in book form). She'd been in the middle of two other books and didn't want to take on a third.
"Already published," I said, handing my copy to her. "And sold a few." She opened to the first page and started reading -- and grinning, a good sign.
"What's 'Ezekial'?" she asked.
"A book in the bible."
"There's no book of Ezekial!"
"Yes there is," I said, getting my bible. I showed her.
"How 'bout that?" She said. "I love what I read so far. Most books it takes a chapter or two before I get sucked in, three paragraphs and I have to finish this!"
Wait until she gets to "Stratodoober Madness".
She went home with my copy, signed with the inscription "To my friend with benefits."
Not only are people buying it, it got me laid! I imagine that she's fantasized about writers before...
Blame the victim? Absolutely, and owning my chunk of the blame for not rebelling against Holy Progress earlier and more strongly.
As with ObamaCare, this idea still leaves too much power in the hands of bureaucratic pencil-necks. I, for one, don't want to see any bogus 'Hey, we're going to fanny about with the tax code' ideas. I want the existing tax code melted down, like the iron rod of oppression that it is, and turned into some tasteful park furniture.
However, anyone burying their head in the sand about how jacked up ObamaCare is for starters, and how further jacked up BHO's "Oh, we'll just selectively enforce laws" approach is for dealing with it really is utterly mad and deserves to be ignored.
Chapter Three is online as you read this, but not as I write it; tomorrow is Veteran's day, so I'll be at Felber's tomorrow with my fellow veterans. Probably this afternoon, too.
I got a piece of snail spam that may affect the book. There's an outfit in St Louis that wants to print copies in lots of 50. They're cheaper but that's a lot of cash for me to put up front. I think I'll get in touch and see what they want for 4.5x7 newsprint "pocket book" paperback.
It's today now. Robably commented that he got his copy yesterday, which is strange since he wasn't the first to buy a copy, and I ordered a copy to replace the one I gave Patty before anyone else. And he lives in the UK. My copy came today, so the rest should be delivered in a couple of days. Unless anybody else wants to buy one...
Chapter three adds quite a bit to the draft that was posted at slashdot. You're introduced to Angela Picard, who is an explanation for why the military and sports are so looked down on on Mars. He plays a part in later chapters in the life of one of the main characters.
He isn't all that was added to this chapter.
The rollout of Healthkill.gov has been a dose of serenity for me, though. We are all Ambassador Stevens now. We wanted this. We voted for it. We rejected sanity. Hugs and kisses to fustakrakich, damn_registrars, and Pope Ratzo. You guys won.