Being the Ongoing Chronicle of the Anticks, Misadventures, and Odd Deeds of an Overalls-clad Wanderer.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

An A-to-Z Thing

I saw this at Ken Levine's blog, so I thought I'd do it quickly.

And by the way, I told a bunch of people that I'd be doing some much-belated Ask Me Anything answers last week, but that was before last week turned into the Bataan Death March combined with the final flight of the Hindenberg, so...hopefully this week. In the future, by the way, I'll eschew Ask Me Anything! if it coincides with me trying to get through the meaty part of a book. I don't want to leave people dangling quite the way I have, both this year and last (when February saw us starting preparations for moving).

And now, the A-Z thing.

• A-Available/Single? “Hey dear? Am I single and available? I’m sorry, what? But it’s not my turn to do the dishes and clean the litterboxes! OK, fine....”

• B-Best Friend? Aside from The Wife? Probably this one dude who is one of my beta-readers and is the source of whatever insight I have on the game of hockey.

• C-Cake or Pie? Pie. But then, I’ve never been hit in the face with a cake, so maybe I’m missing something amazing.

• D-Drink Of Choice? Rum. Or Scotch. Or bourbon. Or beer. I also like water.

• E-Essential Item You Use Everyday? My phone, tablet, and laptop. Love the electronics. They make my life better!

• F-Favorite Color? Purple! But I honestly don’t dislike any colors.

• G-Gummy Bears Or Worms? Ewwww. I don’t like Gummi stuff.

• H-Hometown? Orchard Park, NY.

• I-Indulgence? There are these white-chocolate and toffee chip cookies at The Store that make me weep.

• January Or February? February. The Wife’s birthday, the Super Bowl, and spring training starts.

• K-Kids & Their Names? The Kid. Singular.

• L-Life Is Incomplete Without? Love.

• M-Marriage Date? May 17.

• N-Number Of Siblings? 1

• O-Oranges Or Apples? Apples. I enjoy oranges, but apples are so versatile and amazing!

• P-Phobias/Fears? Clowns tend to freak me out. Dogs, too. I like our dog, but I remain deeply suspicious of other dogs.

• Q-Favorite Quote? “I love you!” “I know.”

• R-Reason to Smile? Overalls and coffee for a Saturday morning writing session.

• S-Season? Fall.

• T-Tag Three or Four People? OK, you’re all it.

• U-Unknown Fact About Me? I cannot roll my R’s.

• V-Vegetable you don't like? Broccoli. That shit can go extinct, for all I care.

• W-Worst Habit? Swearing a lot, eating too many sweets.

• X-X-rays You've Had? My collarbone, when some shitty kid pushed me off my bike years ago and broke it.

• Y-Your Favorite Food? Pizza. Or burgers. Or ice cream. Or jambalaya. Or spanish rice. Or fried fish. Or....

• Z-Zodiac Sign? Libra.

Nothing terribly interesting there, I guess!

Sunday Burst

Interesting, pretty, and/or odd stuff.

:: Pretty: The Big Dipper, enhanced. More here.

:: Also pretty: The clouds of Orion the Hunter. More here.

::  Odd: Dude named Zayn leaves mega-boy band One Direction. Actor Billy Zane is slightly baffled by the outpouring of grief.

:: And then there's this. Welcome back, Mr. Bond!

More next week!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bad Joke Friday

I went to a zoo the other day.

They only had one animal: A single dog.

What a Shih Tzu!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Something for Thursday

Good lord, what a work week this is shaping up to be. I had every intention of getting some blogging done, and it's all I've been able to manage to keep the momentum going on Princess In Space Book III: Fast and Furious (not the actual title).

The weather is also doing its part to keep my gloom groove going. Spring, I've maintained for years, is not only Buffalo's worst season, but its two months of gray and occasionally snowy dampness is the real reason why so many Western New Yorkers claim to hate winter: because after months of late fall plus winter proper (which are really quite bearable), along comes spring with its emotional promises of better times, which don't come until mid-May.

But even gloomy weather can be cheerful, right? We must not forget the lesson so ably taught by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the movie Top Hat (which is an insane eighty years old this year). Here's "Isn't This a Lovely Day".

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Random Wednesday Conversation Starter

Name a food you've tried in the last year for the first time, and your reaction.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A vignette from the airport

I had to pick my mother up from the airport yesterday. Generally I find that in terms of people-watching, I prefer bus terminals to airports, because at bus terminals you get the crazies. Airports seem to bring out the inner asshole in people, such as the lady who crosses the very wide drop-off lane outside the airport, by herself, and only when she's on the opposite side does she turn to yell at her five-year-old kid, who has remained on the terminal side of the lane. Yeah. Make sure she's with you when you cross a street, why don't you.

And then there's the small waiting area for arrivals. There used to be more of this seating and it used to be nicely spread out, but in our post-9/11 desire for massive amounts of security, the passenger screening area has taken up pretty much that entire part of the place, with only a pretty small room set aside for people to wait for their arriving loved ones. There were three people in there yesterday, so I took a seat in the back row, away from everyone else. Behind the waiting room is a little cafeteria-restaurant thing, with a seating bar between that and the waiting area. In walks a cluster of three people who decide that they're going to stand at the seating bar and have their loud and boring conversation, and they're going to do it right behind me. They could have stood anyplace else and not bothered anyone else, but that wasn't an option.

So yeah, if you like annoying people, the airport's the place for you.

But then, there was the Young Woman In Blue Jeans.

She was the only Young Woman there, but she also had on blue jeans. And a nice winter jacket, leather torso with cloth arms and faux-fur on the cuffs and collar. Her long, brown hair fell about her shoulders, and most of all...she looked nervous. No, not nervous. Anxious.

The Young Woman In Blue Jeans could not stand still. She'd check her phone for the time. Then she'd check her phone for the flight status, ignoring what the teevees on the wall had to say about flight status. She'd look around, for no apparent reason because she was clearly there waiting for someone, and she'd rock back and forth from one foot to the other. Then she started this entire cycle again, and finally, she disappeared for a few minutes.

When she reappeared, she set up camp in the exact same spot, waiting for whomever was to come through the exit corridor, and did the same things again: she checked her phone, she rocked back and forth, she spontaneously looked around. Maybe she riffed her fingers through her hair. She tried calmly leaning against the wall, only to give that up seconds later for more foot-rocking.

And when she returned from her brief disappearance, she had a piece of paper in her hand. A full-size sheet, 8 by 11. She'd written something on it, in Sharpie. One of those signs you hold up at the airport to identify yourself to someone. But it didn't have a name on it; she'd written a lot of words there, and I found myself curious as to what they said. She finally angled toward me just enough that I was able to read her impromptu sign:

who lives in NEW ORLEANS, LA

A lover, I suppose. New lover? Old lover? Lovers meeting for the first time after getting to know each other online?

I never found out. Mom came out of the gate first.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Burst

Strange things are afoot, Watson!

:: Dude is getting married, and creates e-mail list to keep his buddies apprised of wedding plans. A typo results in a complete stranger being on the list. The stranger comes clean. The stranger ends up getting invited anyway.

:: I may have linked this before and forgotten to delete the link from my bookmarks, but it's still an interesting article: you know that pint glass that is the dominant piece of glassware for beer drinking these days? Apparently it's awful. Or so I'm told. I still like them, but other glasses are cool, too.

:: I haven't dug too deep to see if Stardancer turns up on Kindle Cover Disasters. Lord, I hope not...I'd hate to be in the same company as this:


(Note to self: Remove all references in current manuscript to the spaceship Intrepid Monkey.)

(Note to self: Buy the book about the adventures of the Intrepid Monkey.)

More next week!

Weird Stuff My Camera App Does

So I've been using a camera app called Camera MX for quite a while, on my phone and tablets. I like its functionality the best of all the camera apps I've tried, but there's a button on the screen marked "FX". I never touched that one, until out of curiosity, I did. Turns out that the app does all kinds of crazy things: various filters, mirrored images, and even kaleidoscope settings.

Here's a normal-looking selfie that I took for reference, and then a bunch of photos from the same perspective, taken using the odd filters and stuff. The one with my head thirteen times strikes me as...well, it's kinda creepy. Like a horror comic book with a Jack Kirby cover.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Something for Thursday

For a while, this song had an odd way of playing each and every time The Wife and I went someplace. It was guaranteed. That's mostly because it featured strongly in the playlist of the Satellite Radio thingie she has in her car for a while, but even then we'd hear it in stores and restaurants and all over. We don't hear it much anymore, but still when it pops up, we have a laugh because we dubbed it "our song" even though it's an incredibly weird song for a couple to designate as such, no?

Here's Imagine Dragons with "Radioactive".

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Random Wednesday Conversation Starter

What fruit or vegetable makes you Oh so HAPPY! when you go to the store and see that it's in season?