Monday, May 16, 2022

Episode #123: Dad Is Just Chillin' While Waiting For A Train

To the right, a lovely lilac bush greeted me on my Friday morning walk. On 5/12, we officially scared the world by whipping out my shorts to show off my very pasty white legs. Be very, very, afraid. Also, I discovered that I do have brand preference when it comes to jeans. Normally, I'm not into that because (usually) anything brand name adds 65% to the price. But, while I was trying on to determine whether or not I needed to do a temporary size increase due to a waist increase, I discovered that I still fit into my current size of Wranglers, but not the same size in Levis. So....yeah.

So, we have the usual parts to the post: a random writing update and some e-mail humor.

So, while I was winding down in my note taking that is the hot mess known as Dandelion Tears, I belatedly remembered one more chapter. A bit of searching found me ten more pages, which in turn filled me with disgust. Why, you may ask?

Well, normally what I would do with any writing project I'm working on that is trying my patience, I try to complete a chapter before putting it aside. That way, when I decide to come back to it weeks, months, or in this case, years later, I have something of a starting point to launch myself with. Sadly, this was not the case with this hot mess, as I decided 11 1/2 years ago to stop in the middle of a chapter. Bad move, because, you know......

Anyways, we decided to search two old M$ computers of mine to see if I had backed it up on the computer's hard drive (yes, I did find the floppy disk and checked that on the external drive that I had bought 15 years ago. I'm strange, so....yeah.). Long story short, M$'s Win7 OS almost put me to sleep while I was waiting for it to go through all the programs that are needed in order to access the log-in screen.

M$ took about thirty to forty-five seconds to come to life once I plugged it in, then another twenty-five seconds to arrive at the main screen after I'd logged in. For comparison, it takes my Chromebook, from booting up to the main screen, less than twenty seconds total after turning it on.

After all was said and done, nothing of note was found, save for the password for my XP computer. That computer I was not able to access due to the following reasons: about three years dead; the adapter plug I believe was water damaged last July; I need a keyboard to make it work because some of the alpha keys came off AND somehow, I unknowingly pressed the right combination of alpha keys and turned computer keyboard into one big hot mess of a secondary keyboard, rendering it unusable....unless I have an external keyboard to override the computer keyboard.

So back to the hot mess and the continuation of writing notes. By the time I got to the bitter end, I was left seriously confused on just exactly what main plot was (kidnapping? retaliation? revenge?), which in turn put me into the same state for the sub-plots, thus putting me into a state of "WTF did I just write?"

I still have a half page of notes to write, mostly laying/properly plotting the various locations that this hot mess takes place in (Earth, both present day and alternate reality, a pod{?}, an infirmary{?}, a kingly/queenly court{?}). Then, I can start handwriting this bad boy, and maybe, just maybe, everything will start to crystallize for me. Maybe. If anything, the one thing I can say with confidence is that this book is a fantasy.

And time now for some ye olden (19 1/2 years) G-rated e-mail humor. Topic of choice is mathematics.

The Evolution of Instruction

Teaching Math in 1950: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

Teaching Math in 1960: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $60. What is his profit?

Teaching Math in 1970: A logger exchanges a set "L" of lumber for a set "M" of money. The cardinality of set "M" is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. Make 100 dots representing the elements of the set "M". The set "C", the cost of production contains 20 fewer points than set "M". Represent the set "C" as a subset of set "M" and answer the following question: What is the cardinality of the set "P" of profits?

Teaching Math in 1980: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

Teaching Math in 1990: By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question:: how did the forest birds and squirrels "feel" as the logger cut down the trees? There are no wrong answers.

Teaching Math in 2002: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $120. How does Arthur Andersen determine that his profit margin is $60? note: Arthur Anderson was a major player in the Enron scandal.

Teaching Math in 2010: El hachero vende un camion carga por $100. La cuesta de production es.....

And on that educational note (remember kids, in 2022 math is discrimination), we wish you a very smooth criminal kind of week.

{c} 2022 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 9, 2022

Episode #122: Dad's Allergies Are Better, So This Update Isn't Stuffy

Summertime....and the living is sooooo much easier when you have a routine of sleep, eat. walk, eat, vegetate, walk, vegetate, eat, run errands, vegetate listening to MLB. Wash, rinse and repeat.

Yeeeeaaaaaah. No. Let's call this, Take 3!

Summer is almost upon us, and as such, we're gearing up for some mini-mountain exploration. And the occasional picture taking. And some serious note taking. And a computer switch.

To expand a bit further, we shall tackle each bullet point contained within that paragraph.

1} Mini-mountain exploring: The weather has gotten a bit more like late Spring than late Winter, so I've started my usual short day hike on the typical mountain trail. Last Saturday {4/30} went up by the MDC water tower to the plateau overlook, before going back down the mountain the long invasive way. Fortunately for me, I did recognize a few trees that told me I was on the right downhill path. Well that, and the mountain stream was on my left as well.

2} Started taking random pics on my mini hikes, mostly from an old foundation of sorts that doubles as a rest area. I can still see the street from there, since the trees are presently about 20% in bloom, but that view should go away in about a month.

3} The note taking will commence shortly after I carve out some time to go through an 80+ page manuscript of gobbledy-gook. Said gobbledy-gook features a human/semi-human pairing, servants, bad English-to-Spanish translations, magic and other assorted....things. And this was ascertained from a two minute page flip/skim while I was printing out missing parts (props to my trusty file folder on my trusty USB drive). Should be a barrel of laughs while I'm pulling a muscle ion my brain as I'm trying to understand what I'd written. This will, undoubtedly, give my muse boundless fits of mirth and giggles, because as you all know, the muse performs on paper whatever interpretation you choose to execute with the information that she graces you with.

4} The computer switch will commence Memorial Day weekend, as my current Chromebook will cease getting new updates in June. Fortunately for the new one, support is good through early 2027. Yes, unlike M$, where each OS last about as long as a politician keeping their promises, Chrome OS usually has a lifespan between 5 and 8 years, depending on model and make of computer.

So basically, the only concrete parts of this plan are points #1 & #2, since that will be a summer thing. There will be a #2a for times that I will go out my comfort zone and walk in other parts of town (found a couple that due to unforeseen issues were not trodden upon in 2021), while the others are fleeting-to-minimal at best.

And now, a little e-mail, albeit G-rated, humor. Enjoy!

Grandma's Boyfriend

A five year old boy went to visit his grandmother one day. Playing with his toys in her bedroom while grandma was dusting, he looked up and said, "Grandma, how come you don't have a boyfriend now that Grandpa went to heaven?"

Grandma replied, "Honey, my TV is my boyfriend. I can sit in my bedroom and watch it all day long. The religious programs make me feel good and the comedies make me laugh. I'm happy with my TV as my boyfriend."

Grandma turned on the TV, and the reception was terrible. She started adjusting the knobs, trying to get the picture in focus. Frustrated, she started hitting the backside of the TV hoping to fix the problem. The little boy heard the doorbell ring, so he hurried to open the door, and there stood Grandma's minister.

The minister said, "Hello, son, is your Grandma home?"

The little boy replied, "Yeah, she's in the bedroom bangin' her boyfriend."

The minister fainted.

And on that wholesome note, we bid you a berry happy Monday and may your week be filled with memes to break the monotony of the day.

{c} 2022 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 2, 2022

Episode #121: Another One Of Dad's Really Stuffy Updates? You Betcha!

Welcome back my friends to blog that never ends, we're so glad you came by, read along, read along.
{Original lyric by Emerson, Lake & Palmer, reworked by yours truly}

So I thought I would give another double update of my den and my writing, because, why not?

Here are three pictures showing the end result of re-moving my den back in. The first shows basically the albums that were still salvageable with not too much water damage, books that were undamaged by the water, both the ones by fellow writers and my own personal quixotic tastes, and finally all the Time-Life books that I had purchased in the mid-90's: True Crime {9 volumes, most recent crime covered was the Christian Brando murder trial}; The Civil War {28 volumes} and the Collectors Library of The Civil War (high quality reprints, originally 30 volumes but one vanished in the past few decades}. Yeah, I was a bit of a nut back then.

And a stuffed Tasmanian Devil, a stuffed Ducky and a poster of Rusty Staub given to me by a vendor ten years ago.

The second shows a white shelving unit that I'd originally bought to house my forty-fives, but alas, the height was less than seven inches, but we did manage to make yummy scrambled eggs by storing my various office supplies, bluetooth headphones, some DVDs and some box CD sets in the unit. To the right is the basket of used toner that gets periodically returned and one of my CD racks. To the left of is a record player that my daughter decided she didn't want anymore, and since mine bit the dust yet again, I was the grateful recipient of said player.

And the final pic shows all my nice and for the most part, undamaged forty-five collection. On top are the various knick-knacks that I've acquired over the years. Of note is an autographed mini-football by a member of the Super Bowl I & II Green Bay Packers. Note, my son's late FiL was like a living, breathing version of the game of Six Degrees of Separation of The Tri-State Area. The NY Mets plaque is of the 2007 team. And yes, my last Window based computers, which I still believe were the best that M$ made: XP & Win7.

And now, for the writing update.

I finished the re-write of a short story that I'd mentioned in a previous post finding amongst my pile of slushies. It was okayish when it was originally written (like back in the early 2010s), but because I still need things to work on for the foreseeable future (monies people, that necessary evil when self-pubbing is involved and I plumb massacred my credit card back, again, in mid 2021), I decided to give this one a very strange rewrite. The rewrite clocked in at just 67 words under 10k and about 20 pages (I think), and to be honest, this rewrite was actually quite fun to do. I was able to put in just enough character meat to satisfy the reader without make them angry, and I toned down the hyperbole just enough to not turn the narrator into me.

Overall, save for this still untitled short story, the bulk of my slushies seem to securely, and quite firmly, entrenched in the paranormal/fantasy realm of things. Which coincided with me hitting my peak of researching odd names and the like, as for a now unknown reason I was into using names from different world mythologies. Made things very interesting, mostly because i was still in my toddler stage of character development, so what I would try to do is write large patches of story based around the mythological background of the name. 

So...yeah. But I did find the remnants of an 84 page story that I don't quite remember what the plot is, but it sure looks like it will be a very interesting read. It does have a working title of "Dandelion Tears", but yeah, I don't know why it's called that either. However, I will elaborate on what I'd wind up finding after doing a not-so-quick read through in another post. 

So let's finish this post up with yet another humorous e-mail, this time from my friend Diane, that is currently untitled. So, enjoy!

A South Carolina preacher spoke in a thunderous voice to his congregation. "Someone in this congregation has spread a rumor that I belong to the Klan! This is a horrible lie and one which a Christian community can't tolerate! I am embarrassed and do not intend to accept this! Now, I want the party who did this to stand and ask for forgiveness from God and this Christian Family!"

No one moved. The preacher continued, "Do you have the nerve to face me and admit this falsehood? Remember, you will be forgiven and in your heart you will feel glory! Now stand and confess your transgression!"

Again, all was quiet.

Then slowly, a drop dead gorgeous blonde with a body that would stop traffic rose from the third pew. Her head was bowed and her voice quivered as she spoke. "Reverend, there has been a terrible misunderstanding. I never said you were a member of the Klan. I simply told a couple of my friends that you were a wizard under the sheets."

The preacher fell to his knees, his wife fainted and the congregation roared.

And on that note, I wish everyone a fantastic Monday as well as a fantabulous week.

{c} 2022 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 25, 2022

Episode #120: Dad's Stuffy Update With A Humorous Twist

One of my late afternoon hikes, where the weather was very springy but the visual was still very autumny. I was sitting on a ruined foundation (honestly) taking a breather. Right now, the silence is very, very golden right now: no peeps, no domestic or wild animals and no birds. Perfect for a bit of whatever kind of meditation floats your boat.

So I thought it would good time to give a little writing update, since for the past few weeks I haven't done anything after completing the The Average American Novel

As most of you know, I've spend the past few weeks moving my den back into my den as well as re-organizing my worldly possessions elsewhere (homemade crate shelving). I'll save the gory details/pics for a later post, but I do want to share that I've re-discovered the bulk of my finished & unfinished manuscripts. I'll also go into gory detail about that later, but I did find a short story that has the unoriginal title of "The Grid" adorning it. Since I'm very horrible with names, it has a placeholder title of "The Grid Aint't My Friend". I know, cringe-worthy.

Anyways, the basic premise is a group of friends getting revenge on another for some perceived personality flaw. Trite, I know, but this was written last decade, so, there you go. Anyways, I've been working on rewriting this bad girl for the past week or so, and I'm making decent progress with enough knuckle-curves added to make a batter throw a temper tantrum in the batter's box. Caution to the wind I say. Lots of inference of all kinds of abnormalities (to some folks) to be had.

In addition to find all of those manuscripts, I've also found a treasure trove of ye olden e-mail humor printed out some 12+ years ago. I've shared a few already, so here's another for your enjoyment. Not sure who sent me this originally, so I can't give a proper credit to, but it's funny just the same.

The Pastor's Ass

The pastor entered his donkey in a race and it won. The pastor was so pleased with the outcome that he entered it in the race again, and it won again.

The local paper read: PASTOR'S ASS OUT FRONT.

The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the pastor not to enter the donkey in another race.

The next day, the local paper headline read: BISHOP SCRATCHES PASTOR'S ASS.

This was too much for the Bishop, so he ordered the pastor to get rid of the donkey. The pastor decided to give it to a nun in a nearby convent.

The local paper, hearing of the news, posted the following headline the next day: NUN HAS BEST ASS IN TOWN.

The Bishop fainted. He informed the nun that she would have to get rid of the donkey, so she sold it to a farmer for $10.

The next day the paper read: NUN SELLS ASS FOR $10.

This was too much for the Bishop, so he ordered the nun to buy back the donkey and lead it to the plains where it could run wild.

The next day the headlines read: NUN ANNOUNCES HER ASS IS WILD AND FREE.

The Bishop was buried the next day.

The moral of the story is....being concerned about public opinion can bring you much grief and misery...and even shorten your life. So be yourself and enjoy life...Stop worrying about everyone else's ass and you'll be a lot happier and live longer!

And on that not, I bid everyone a spiffy Monday and a fantabulous week!

{c} 2022 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved