Friday, August 31, 2012

Yet another "Hell, yeah!"

This time, it's a concealed carry holder in Texas who confronted a knife-wielding jackass attacking the mother of his child outside of the school his child attends.  No, the "good Samaritan" wasn't able to completely prevent the attack--the shock of seeing a man attack a woman with a knife would slow anyone down--but he did make the violent bastard drop the knife, and likely saved the victim's life. 

Can we get a HELL YEAH!!!

It's about time that this was said by someone people listen to!  It's not shocking in the slightest that Gina Reinhart was attacked the instant she told people that, instead of indulging in jealousy and drink, they need to get off their ass and work for what they want.

FFOT: miscellaneous

A little too tired this morning for a proper rant.  This is what's been bothering me this past week.

  • I'd like to find whoever/whatever tied the muscles in my back just below my shoulders into a tight, painful knot...and return the favor.  With interest.  
  • Odysseus has been scheduled to work 'til midnight two days in a row (last night and tonight), then 'til eleven.  I'd say his manager could fuck off, but she already did--she either was fired, or quit to avoid being fired.  
  • Students whining "I don't understand!!!  Tell me exactly what to do!!!"  Especially when it's "What do you want us to link for the persuasive posts?"  Sorry--I won't do your thinking (or your work) for you.  And if this is what you're going to be like all semester, you're not going to do well.  Fuck off now, and it won't hurt your GPA.
  • Politicians making light of things they can't possibly understand (I'm looking at you, Todd Akin, and you, Tom Smith) can fuck right off. 
There are other things, but I'm too sleep deprived (as well as coffee deprived, at the moment) to think of them.  As always, rant away in the comments.  That's what these are here for.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Good try.

The whole Malthusian fallacy is alive and well; however, the enthusiastic supporters of that particular junk science are trying it again.  This time, they're wailing that there won't be enough water to grow food for nine billion people--well, not unless we all go vegetarian, like, now

Umm...I'm not buying what they're selling.  I'd like to remind said individuals that the world is 75% water.  Yes, all but one or two percent is salt water, but we have technology that can deal with that.  And brains that can improve that technology.  Or improve the crops to where they need less water. 

So, yeah: false premise, false results.  Garbage in, garbage out. 

Then again, these are also the people that believe that all it will take for Marxism to work is to put them in charge. 

I've been making this argument for years, now.

I will admit, John Stossel, with his reach, has a much better chance of convincing people, but he doesn't say anything in his article equating the war on drugs with Prohibition that I hadn't been saying for a long time. 

Legalize it all.  Regulate it all.  Tax it all.  Stop telling us that it's bad for us, so we can't use it.  Everything is bad for us, in sufficient volume.  Refusing to let people make their own choices about drugs is insulting to their independence and intelligence. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The perpetually poor are poor for a reason.

It's not government interference causing poverty (exacerbating, yes; causing, no).  It's not racism, sexism, ageism, or any other kind of -ism that there is.

It's an inability to plan for the future, an inability to delay gratification, and an inability to see the consequences of their actions.

For instance, my male genetic donor's family: my aunt was a nurse before she retired.  She made damn good money, but never saved it, just pissed it all away as fast as it came in.  Then, she moved in with my grandmother, "to take care of her in her final years."  That wasn't the reason--the reason was that her home--a freakin' trailer on a rented lot--was foreclosed on.  Because she quit making payments she should have been able to afford.  Another of my mgd's siblings, a younger brother, married a sugar-mama.  He's set, as far as I know.  A third sibling is in prison for using explosives--safely and not in an illegal manner, but without a license; another is barely treading water, despite making a good living raising meat rabbits (while his wife works as a teacher/school counselor). 

They do not save money.  They spend it as fast as--or faster than--it comes in.  Their children mostly do the same.  One uncle rebelled, and he learned to budget (and so did his kids), but that was one child out of six

My mother, who hasn't worked since I was about seven years old, buys nothing but name brand--and often, gourmet quality--food on a fixed income with food stamps.  Nothing but the best for her, despite constantly whining about how she doesn't know why prices keep going up, and she never has money to do what she needs to do.  Hell, when she bought a vehicle in '01, she bought a Ford F150 with four wheel drive, a huge motor, and upgraded suspension for towing, none of which she needed.  Now, she's whining that she wants a "good, reliable, good gas mileage car"--and thinks a ten year old Chrysler fits the bill. 

Yet, somehow, despite making less than her household (she and my sister, who lives with her, are both on disability, and make about four grand more per year than I do--and now that Odysseus is delivering pizza, we're making about two and a half times what we did when it was just me), we're managing to not only tread water, but start putting a little more back for emergencies, retirement, and college. 

We don't buy name brands.  We don't eat fast food every week.  We pay membership to a wholesaler's club for staples, dry goods, and meat.  We buy second-hand clothes, where we can.  We bargain hunt, and wait for sales on things we'd like, but don't absolutely need immediately.  We plan

We plan, because we do not to remain in the bottom quintile forever. 

Too few? Try too many.

The feds are whinging that people are looking elsewhere for ways to make ends meet than to the bloated entitlement programs that they offer. 

Alright.  I get that unemployment is 8% officially, and more like 16+% in reality, but 15% dependence on government programs is way too high, especially since only about 51% of the population are actually paying for those programs. 

Wait a tic...if only 51% are paying into the system, doesn't that mean that 49% are, by definition, dependent upon the largess of the federal government in one way or another, rather than the claimed 15%?  Wow.  Guess that's like the unemployment numbers.

Benjamin Disraeli was right.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's like they're actively trying to bung up their own chances.

First, we have Todd Akin self-fellating in public with the speech about "legitimate rape" not causing pregnancy.  Now we have yet another Republican Senate canditate, Tom Smith, equating pregnancy from rape with pregnancy from "oops!  shouldn't have had sex without some form of contraceptive!" casual sex.

Okay, pro-lifers.  You can't seem to figure out an argument that isn't going to push the "God, you're an insensitive twat!" buttons for the nation, so here's your argument that will work.

1.  Remind everybody, every time you open your mouth about it, when the heart starts beating and the brain starts working.

2.  Remind people that abortions are killing girls (committing hate crimes against women, if you can bring yourself to cater to the part of the crowd that you need to convince), and refer to all babies with a female pronoun, not neuter, unless and until shown an ultrasound that shows a penis. 

3. Show ultrasound videos of babies playing--and they do that pretty darn early.  

4. Do not, under any circumstances, downplay the trauma of being raped.  Do not imply that there is such a thing as not legitimate rape, and do not conflate pregnancy from rape with pregnancy from stupidity.

And guys?  If you can't do these simple things, then shut the fuck up.  You're not helping your case.

Now, that's racist.

Telling someone they only fit in with the Republicans because they're white?  That's racist--what about Herman Cain or Allen West?  It's also cruel to tell a young woman that her parents only love her because of the color of her skin and hair. 

I'm sorry--what?  I've said before: if I had the opportunity to adopt, I wouldn't care about the child's skin color.  Most parents are the same.

You know what else is racist?  Wishing the hurricane would hit the GOP convention because it's full of white Republicans and leave black New Orleans alone.

I don't wish another pasting for New Orleans, but I have to admit that another hurricane would probably completely destroy it, since it's still not been rebuilt after Katrina. 

Funny how nearly every other place that Katrina hit has been, for the most part, totally rebuilt.  Guess that's what government dependance gets you. 

Monday, August 27, 2012


Okay...I couldn't get past the first sentence of the news story, here.   "TAMPA, Fla. -- Giant, walking vaginas have descended upon the Republican National Convention."

Let me see...first context, Tampa makes me think of feminine hygiene products.  

Second...giant walking vaginas?  Isn't that the basic definition of career politicians?  (Actually, we really should be using the original Anglo-Saxon monosyllable for that...)

Go ahead.  Make fun of the situation.  I have too many smart remarks circling my mind to actually congeal enough to come out.

I don't go anywhere unarmed.

There are idiots out there that think that, if guns are banned, violence will magically cease.  (Somehow the whole issue of cities with the fewest legal guns have the highest numbers of murders and assaults committed with illegal guns...cognitive dissonance at its finest.)  These same people are now hyperventilating about the possibility of legal concealed carry on Colorado college campuses...and in church

After what happened at the Wisconsin Sikh temple, I'd think most pastors and other spiritual leaders would want their congregations to carry. 

Then again, as I've already mentioned, the anti-gun crowd is pretty irrational in their terror that everyone else is just like them, and would open fire at the least provocation.  They've also been pretty successful in convincing others who don't understand guns (and, therefore, are afraid of them) of the same thing. 

Way to go, UVA!

They've told the TOTUS to go piss up a rope with regards to giving a speech on campus--they say (rightly) that it would disrupt classes too much. 

Stupid bastard should have requested such before semester started--guess he doesn't realize that some of us take our education seriously, instead of using it as an entry point into national politics.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Disposable culture meets complete lack of common sense.

A Canadian woman drowned, recently, not long after she got married.  Stupid twit didn't think about what would happen if she tried to go swimming in a full-length, layered, full-skirted wedding gown for her professional portrait. 

First off, it used to be standard procedure for women to drown if they fell in the water wearing as many layers as they did (and as this particular bride did).  If a woman was saved from drowning, it was usually by a quick thinking man with a knife who cut the laces and pulled her out of her skirts.  That much water-logged fabric is both heavy and impossible to move in.

Second, why in the world would anyone want to destroy a wedding dress at the beginning of a (presumably still) happy marriage?  I can maybe see setting fire to it after an acrimonious divorce, but destroying it as part of the wedding photos?  I'd be willing to bet that she's got more debt in what she racked up to pay for the wedding than she did in her education.  She might have been able to get a bit of that back by selling the dress.

Okay...I get that it was her dress.  I get that.  I really do.  However, I'm betting that that dress probably cost in the four-figure range, and she probably could have sold it for several hundred, at least, or donated it.  Or, she could have saved it for her future daughter's wedding, like people used to do.   However, in today's self-centered, disposable culture, I'd bet it probably didn't occur to her.  Or, if it did, she likely brushed it aside for the consideration of awesome photos.

It would have saved her life if she had. 

You know, when I say "stupid should hurt," I mean it needs to hurt the idiot, not the people grieving for them after they've earned a Darwin right after their wedding.

My imp likes ramen.

I just had a snack of a cup of instant shrimp ramen.  The imp came charging up, begging, "Eat noodles, peas, shimp?  Eat Mama's food?"

Then, he proceeded to eat all of the shrimp, all of the peas, several carrot chips, and about half the noodles.

I can think of another little blond, blue-eyed troublemaker that loves ramen from anime...we're going to have to try to find the right costume for Daddy to take the imp trick-or-treating this year, dressed like this.

Disorganized religion

Last week, I spoke up in defense of organized religion, mostly because of the social contract that it helped form. 

That does not mean I am personally a fan of organized religion.  I am not.  I can hardly stand to attend a church service without a panic attack.

And that's disregarding the parts of my own personal beliefs that have no place in organized religion. 

Organized religion as a social institution has its place.  Far more important than that is you and your personal relationship with God, however you see Him.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

First batch of grading to do...

I've been giving points as I receive the introduction emails (assigned so that I have their email addresses), but now I need to go into both classes and give points for the rest of the first week's assignments. 

And I already know that I have several students who can't follow instructions with pictures.  They still haven't figured out how to comment in the course's discussion board, and still haven't figured out how to set up their blogs. 

Oy's going to be a long sixteen weeks. 

Random ramblings

I taught the imp how to use the sand sifter that came with a wheelbarrow full of beach toys, earlier in the week.  He spent half an hour sitting quietly on the ground at the bottom of his slide in the sun, sifting the rocks he'd put down the slide out of the dirt.  When he decided it was time to come inside and drink lemonade, he was covered in a fine layer of dirt mixed with sweat, and had mud streaked across his face. 

The pixie has discovered that she can lay down on her belly in the bathtub, and slide around in the water.  It's impossible to get her out before she turns into a prune with goosebumps, now. 

The other night, the kids picked up a new word.  The imp chirped something at me, the pixie babbled something at him, then something to me.  I said,  "okay, whatever you just said."  And then the imp starts chirping "Whatever!"  Then, the pixie started chirping it back to him. 

It's a good thing I'd already decided against sending them to public school.  I don't think most teachers would know what to make of a sarcastic six year old. 

Writing has...stalled.  I forgot how much focus on my students saps my energy and creativity.  I was hoping that I'd be able to keep working on my writing while I kept up with my classes.  Not so much.  It's frustrating, to say the least. 

Speaking of teaching...I have a student who's a self-admitted "community organizer"--bragged about their "accomplishments" like they were something to be proud of.  I wouldn't be surprised if that individual was a disciple of ACORN.  Their introduction email pushed most of my political irritant buttons.  I suppose I should just be glad they write standard English. 

This is going to be a long sixteen weeks. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Rare, but pleasant...

The kids played together without fighting for about an hour and a half this afternoon.  There was a lot of shrieking, but it was all laughter, not fighting. 

Sadly enough, it stopped not long after Odysseus got home from his trip to the range.  Too bad...

Yet another "Hell, yeah!"

Don't try invading the homes of black rap stars.  It's a bad idea--they'll beat the hell out of anyone dumb enough to break in, while their kid calls the cops to come rescue the robber, at best. 

Too bad LL Cool J wasn't a gun owner, and living somewhere other than California. 

FFOT: Todd Akin

Todd Akin can fuck right the fucking fuckety fuck off.  How the fuck could he fucking think self-fellating in public like he fucking did with that fucking comment about fucking "women don't get pregnant from legitimate rape." 

Let me take a deep breath and address the first issue I have with this statement calmly.

What.  The.  FUCK!!!  Did he fucking fail fucking basic fucking biology???  If a woman is at the time in her cycle, and she's raped, if she's not on the pill SHE WILL FUCKING GET PREGNANT.  FUCKING RAPISTS DON'T FUCKING USE FUCKING CONDOMS WHEN FUCKING ATTACKING THEIR VICTIMS.  If there is a biological function dealing with a traumatic contact like that, it's a FUCKING SURVIVAL OF THE FUCKING SPECIES type that will make getting pregnant MORE fucking likely, not LESS.  If she's going to miscarry, it'll be because the stress of being victim-blamed by twatwaffles like this pencil-necked cocksmith.

Which leads me neatly into my next issue with that particular statement. 

So how does this sanctimonious turd-breathed fucking anal pimple fucking define "legitimate rape?"  Only the kind where a woman is stalked and brutally attacked by a stranger? 

What about being raped by a date?  Or by a person a woman thought was a friend?  Or by an abusive spouse?  Are those not legitimate rapes?

Or maybe the fucking ill-fucking-educated fucking selfish bastard fucking ignorant cunt thinks those are all cases where the woman changed her mind the next day. 

I am a woman.  I know some women are malicious enough to decide "Hmm...after that walk of shame last night, I kind of regret having sex, even though I was enthusiastically consenting and participating last night.  I know!  I'll say he coerced me into having sex!  It wasn't my fault if it was rape!"

Not all.  While I know it happens, it's not common.  Date rape is.  Friend rape is--I had a roommate in college that it happened to.  Spouse rape is. 


Let's see Mr. Akin go through something where a man twice his size threatens to hit him if he doesn't agree to have sex, and see if he calls that "legitimate rape," or if forced consent is still consent to him. 

Oh, and he can also fuck right the fucking fuckety fuck off with a glass-coated cricket bat lubricated with the rotten ejaculate of horses and camels for not fucking stepping aside for one of the candidates he beat in the primary. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I think I prefer a world where a small woman can protect herself from a large man.

Several years ago, I discovered John Ringo's work.  Not through his Posleen books (excellent, but horrifying in places), nor through his Ghost books (oh, John Ringo, no!), but through the Council Wars books, beginning with There Will be Dragons.* 

Talk about an excellent argument for the existence of guns.

The world is set so far into the future that we can't see it from here.  Nanotechnology and wireless transmission of information and electrical power combine to form a society where, if you want something, all you have to do is tell the AI that runs everything what you want, and you'll have it before you can blink.  Body and genetic modification are common--mermaids, anyone?--and so is instantaneous travel to anywhere in the world.

Until, suddenly, it isn't.

And chaos sets in.

Sometime in the less distant future, there were wars so terrible that the designers of the AI created protocols that prevent the manufacture of electricity through industrial means--and prevent the use of firearms.  Totally prevent it.  For everyone.  Like, the cartridges just won't fire.  Black powder weapons don't work.  Something about how the AI detects the build up of pressure, and bleeds it off to power other things.

This sets up a world where strong men--and only strong men--rule.

The characters are well drawn (literally, in some cases: Ringo writes in Bun-Bun from Sluggy Freelance as a rogue AI).  The situations are, if not realistic in the beginning, certainly realistic in what happens when technology comes crashing down to a pre-industrial, pre-firearms level of civilization, where civilization manages to hang on in the first place.  

It is quite a fun book, and a fun world to spend some time in.

As a small woman, however, I do not want to live there. 

*The first two books are free to download from Baen's free library

Been shopping

We went to Walmart, then Sam's Club this morning.  As we walked into Walmart, there was a display of several different items at a dollar each.  The imp suddenly pipes up, "There trucks!  Want truck?  Please?"

Sure enough, there were a box of plastic dump trucks.  Now, we need to find a stuffed owl for the pixie, who's gone nuts over owls, recently, and we're good for toys until birthdays.  Or a month of dry pants for the imp, whichever comes first.   

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Getting a handle on the whole FlyLady thing...again.

I thought I was getting into a routine with the whole FlyLady thing...and then shit started happening.  Migraines from hell that I couldn't work through; UTIs, one right after another; food poisoning; sick kids--you name it, it's probably happened.  This summer.

Which means that every attempt to get control of the mess in my house has been aborted by forces outside of my control.

I am getting frustrated.  And about ready to shovel nearly everything out into the back yard and set it  on fire, just to get some of the clutter out of my house.

(Guns and ammo are, of course, exempt from this threat)

On the upside, I am getting the kitchen back on track at least.  And some of the living room.  I can walk through without breaking an ankle stepping on a toy.  

Simple economics

My family have been debt-free for a couple of years, now.  We paid off the car two years early, and we'd paid off the credit cards before that.  So: no debt.  Not even mortgage debt--that's also been paid in full.

Saved our butts when Odysseus quit the job as a loan shark manager of a payday lending place because he could hardly stand to look in the mirror after seeing the kind of people that type of place tends to suck in and financially ruin.  We're pretty sure that his former boss badmouthed him pretty badly when he was applying for new jobs, because it took nearly two years to find a part-time pizza delivery job. 

During that time, we scraped by on my income, mostly.  Right around $10,000 per year.  Three months (one January and two Augusts) we had absolutely zero income because of the way the university has structured the pay schedule in the Spring and Fall semesters. 

We did it by having zero debt, and a very tight budget.  We have eaten out maybe a dozen times in two years.  We spent as close to what we were bringing in as it was possible to spend (some bills are totally unavoidable--and are creeping up), and leaning heavily on our savings in the meantime. 

And we watched our savings spiral down, because it is possible for a single person to live on $10 grand per year, but it's not, not really, for a family of four.  Not with the costs our government levies on us. 

Those costs are going up.  Not slowly, either.  The highest electricity bill during the summer of the year before the big zero got elected was about $170.  Now, they're topping $250.  The gas bill is much the same.  Gasoline has doubled.  We can't cut the cable because we need the internet for my job.  We can't drop our life insurance, or our health insurance--which, by the way, has tripled from what it cost when it was just covering Odysseus and me, and is shooting up by another forty dollars next month (thank you, Mr. President, for that).  It looks like our household costs will be going up next year, if the Bush Era tax cuts expire, by another two grand, on top of whatever the health insurance and utility bills are going to increase.

We're still spending as little as possible.  I'm working so hard on the writing because, while Odysseus is actually often making decent money delivering pizzas, we need that third income stream, no matter how small, to do more than just tread water. 

Our costs keep growing as a household.  Our income is pretty stable, so to remain within budget, our discretionary spending is shrinking.  It's not a hard concept. 

At least, not for a work from home mother of two.  It seems to be rocket surgery for those in Washington, D.C. 

Thanks to the huge levels of bureaucratic regulation, including union strangleholds on some industries aided and abetted by the federal government, combined with one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the world, industries are relocating away from the United States.  This is, in turn, creating a huge class of unemployed, who, by definition, are not paying taxes.  Between that and the lost revenue from industries fleeing the oppressive tax rates, our national income is starting to shrink.  They're trying to wring blood out of a stone by raising the rates to compensate, but that's just speeding the exodus. 

You'd think they'd cut discretionary spending, where they can.  That is, after all, how it works in household budgets.

Nope.  Obamacare is going to start bleeding money next year like nobody's business.  We're already several tens of trillions of dollars in debt, and they're still spending like they have money. 

As a nation, our costs shouldn't be growing as fast as the government is spending.  Our costs, as listed as the government's responsibility in the Constitution, are pretty small: infrastructure, and defense.  That's it.  No entitlement programs, no earmarks. 

Maybe we need a new amendment to the Constitution, one that puts the national budget in the hands of a housewife from a household that has no debt.

I can guarantee you that the United States would be put on a budget within a month, and our debts paid off within a decade.

No more of this kicking the debt shit onto our great-grandkids.  It's not right.


I offended a friend, last night.  He took a comment I left on his blog as condescending.  Maybe it was, but not toward him or his beliefs.  When I quoted Heinlein, I wasn't being arrogant toward him, more toward my own generation that either doesn't read, or reads the drek written by Stephanie Meyers.  I was less expressing mockery of his beliefs than expressing amusements that great minds think alike. 

It apparently didn't come across that way, and I'm very sorry for that.  I dislike trolls, and do not want to become one.

From now on, I'll leave no comments, as he's made it pretty clear that my opinions are unwelcome and unneccessary. 

For what it's worth, I'm sorry. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I feel so valued.

Apparently, our university is pushing forward on the whole "one template for a particular class will fit all such classes" idea.  Do they not realize that, by taking away our responsibility for our own course design, they are not only giving tacit permission but enabling those who are the lazy fucks giving online instructors a bad name? 

I can guarantee that, once a professor is handed a template for his or her class, there will be about two thirds of the professors that do nothing more than grade the work that comes in.  They won't interact with their class (and likely won't be familiar with most of their course's content) site, and won't interact with their students, not even to answer questions. 

I've worked damn hard for four years designing, redesigning, and tweaking my course for my students.  I've tossed the things that don't work, and now the administration, in its infinite wisdom, is going to piss away what I've found that does. 

Bureaucrats.   Mouth-breathers, the lot of them.

Even blind squirrels find a nut, sometimes.

Odysseus and I frequently discuss how we'd solve the illegal immigration problem.  He and I have come to the conclusion that we need to first, build a wall with one path through in each border state, then we need to replicate Ellis Island's facilities in the gaps.  After that's been accomplished, we detain everyone trying to cross for long enough to make sure that

1. They are who they say they are...

2. They don't have any communicable diseases...

3. They aren't criminals...

Then we stamp their papers, shake their hands, and tell them they are now American citizens (but not eligible for government assistance, other than help finding a place to live, for at least ten years).

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, of "None of you can make good health decisions for yourselves, so we in NYC will ban table salt at restaurants and sugary drinks larger than 16 oz" fame actually had a good idea that dovetailed right into that:  he wants to ship illegal immigrant families to inner city war zones, with the proviso that if they last seven years (and improve the cities by demanding better education than the rest of the inhabitants have accepted, and start new businesses), they get citizenship. 

Except, most families wouldn't move to such places on a bet, and immigrant families are even more family focused--meaning, there is no way they'd be willing to put their children in that kind of danger. 
Otherwise, it's not a bad change to Odysseus's ideas.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Been bit.

I pulled up another partially finished project, this morning, and found myself looking at it, reading through it, and reformatting it.  I got to thinking, "What if I split the parts up a little different, like this?"

And then I realized that I was actually seriously working on yet another book. 

This one is...a lot more graphic than anything I've worked on before (which I'd forgotten).  I'll see where it goes, and see if it is something I'll be willing to publish for sale.  The first person narrator is fourteen.  It is a completely different time, with completely different societal rules, but still...  Guess I'll just have to finish it, then see what I think. 

I've been bit, and bit hard, by the writing bug.  I haven't written like this since I graduated from my alma mater. 

I farking hate the distance learning platform.

Of course it must be at it's slowest setting when I need to be building my new course for my new students.  It's like the f#@king embodiment of Murphy's Law, and it's corollary. 

Lots to do, today.

Classes are starting.  Damn it. 

Let's see...they have me listed as instructor for the Composition II class I was given last week.  Finally.  Still don't have the course website shell to build the class in, yet.  They told me it should pop up at noon.  Thanks be to God that only takes somewhere around half an hour to build, when the website's cooperating.

I'm waiting on a call from the doctor's office to tell me to come back in for a check on the UTI or that I have another prescription for antibiotics at our local Sam's Club.

I need to go turn in my contract and pick up the desk copy textbooks for the class I'm working as a teacher's assistant in. 

As for other stuff--Odysseus just did the worst of the housework that needed done (trash and kitty litter trash taken out), but I need to unload and reload the dishwasher, at the absolute least.  Once the painkillers take affect, I can probably do at least that much. 

I had Odysseus print off The Godshead, so I'll start on proofing/editing that today. 

Oh, and that reminds me: I need to build a website for that.  Think I'll be using WordPress. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I've still got a lot of work to do on it, but...

...the first, very rough draft of The Last Pendragon is finished.  It's still got a lot of rough spots, and I still have a lot of places where I need to go back and add detail.  I also need to write out an outline as I read through it again to make sure there aren't any huge, gaping plot holes that need filled in, since it deviated wildly from the original outline.  But it's done for now, at just a hair under 59,000 words. 

Next?  Either writing out outlines for the other books I have in mind, or printing out The Godshead to go through it myself and edit.  I don't know, but Pendragon is going to be put away for a while, so that I can see what it actually is when I come back to it with fresh eyes, rather than what I see in my head.


Thanks, Warlock Sundance, for hitting that big, blue follower button.  Sit down, put your feet up, and let me know what you want to drink--I've got Irish whiskey, Scotch, and a couple different kinds of bourbon, iced tea, hot, lemonade, coffee, or cocoa. 

You are very welcome, here.

Why does it seem like kids get into stuff more when you're sick?

I've had to yell at the imp twice for playing with things he knows he's not supposed to touch, and the pixie four times.  Since supper. 

I may be feeling better, but it's by degrees of how shitty I feel.

At least they haven't been fighting much.

Starting to feel a little better...

...but I'm focusing on getting the first part of Pendragon done before classes really get into full swing.  I need to get as much done as I can today, so that I can get class stuff done tomorrow.

Odysseus is heading off to pick up the imp from Grandma and Grandpa at the halfway point at 2:00 (they'll be back in time for him to get dressed for work), will go back to work this afternoon at 4:00, the pixie goes to bed between 7:00 and 8:00, and the imp usually goes to bed around 8:30.  So, I've got about an hour and a half or two hours to write now, and about two or three this evening, depending. 

I wish I had another week or two before classes started.  I might feel a little more enthused about going back into the mud pit to try to teach the little savages how to write, and how to question and think.

An argument for organized religion.

One of the main functions of organized religion has always been as a means of social education, of passing the rules of civilization from generation to generation. 

Christianity and Judaism do the best job, in my opinion.  Both emphasize that life is sacred, and both emphasize treating each other well.  Both emphasize charity and hard work.  Both severely punish assault, murder, and theft.

What do you think happens when religion is de-emphasized by society?

This.  And this.  Oh, and this, and this.   

Not everybody needs an organized religion to teach them how to act.  Some have parents that are capable of doing that.  However, the rules set down in Judaism and Christianity in particular for interpersonal interactions are as good a substitute (as well as a good support for parents trying to teach their kids how to act) as there is. 

Government is sure not doing the job.  All they're teaching is the entitlement mentality.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What does OSHA have to do with gun control?

Simple: it would make criminals' jobs safer, if homeowners were disarmed. 

A woman shot a man who kicked in her door, protecting herself and her daughters who were home with her.  The cops on site said the report would have been very different if the homeowner hadn't also been a gun owner. 

For cryin' out loud!

Either try him for murder and treason with his beard intact, or pin the Islamotard bastard down and slap some Nair on his face!

Random ramblings

Yesterday, we went to visit the in-laws (where I was a lump on the couch all day).  On the way up, the imp started chirping "That's weird!"  Then the pixie started repeating it.  They had a responsive chant going for about ten minutes, mostly because it started Mommy giggling.

The imp spent the night with his grandparents, last night.  If I wasn't so sick, I'd be down at the range today with a brick of .22, the new Ruger we have that I still haven't shot yet, and my little Winchester that somebody took the iron sights off of (damn them) long before I got it, then added a 3/4 inch wide rail that I can't mount any optics on other than a holographic red dot sight that I don't like very much.  I'd rather have iron sights.

Anyway, back to the kids.  Grandma and Grandpa love having the imp sleep over.  The imp loves staying over at Grandma and Grandpa's house, and is firmly convinced that the guest room is his room.

The pixie is out in the living room with her daddy (I'm flat on my back with the UTI kicking my ass).  She and Daddy both sound pretty happy--I've heard her start giggling a few times, and I wonder if she's trying to feed her pancake to the kitten with a sweet tooth.  Or feed her sausage to one of the two kittens.

In a month or so, we'll be adding a puppy to the mix.  We went to my mother's for her birthday on Thursday, and I pulled our puppy out of the pile to hold her and let the kids pet her.  "Aw!  So cute!  Cute ears, cute toes, cute tail and butt.  Have eyes open, awake!  Baby dog look at [imp].  Take two home!"  One's going to be enough, even though Scotties tend to be calm by temperament.  But the pup is really affectionate, and very snuggly.  I held a hand under her rump but let the imp hold her and pet her, and the first thing she did was climb his chest to get into his neck to sniff and lick him.  "Aw!  Baby dog kiss [imp]!"

The imp refers to himself in the third person, most of the time.  He is, however, using first person more and more, instead of his name.

The pixie is stringing together three and four words, now.  Sometimes, she'll string together three or four two, three, and four word phrases to tell me about something.  She's really getting the hang of this communication thing. 

Writing's mostly been on hold.  I've got an outline for the rest of the Pendragon story worked up, but other than that, I've been too sick to think and focus on writing much.  I still think I can finish a rough draft, though, and I will try (since, other than answering email, and keeping an eye on the discussion board, I won't have anything to do for class for the first couple of weeks).

I'll probably spend fall semester going over The Godshead and tweaking what needs it, then doing the same for the rough draft of The Last Pendragon.  After that, I've got about five projects in mind to do outlines for, and will probably work on the detailed outlines over Thanksgiving break, then pick the one that calls me the most to work on over Christmas break.

Last Tuesday, I got a call from my department head.  He called to let me know the dean was closing one of my sections of 101 because it didn't have a single student in it, but that they were going to open a new section of 102, because there were a dozen students in desperate need of a 102, and all the other sections were full, and could I please take it????

Umm...sure.  No problem.  Saved my paycheck from being cut in half for the semester.  Why wouldn't I take a second section?  Now, a third...yeah, that's a little much, the way I teach the classes.  But I can take two.

Except...apparently, the university is dragging their ass on the new class paperwork, and I'm still not listed in their system as the instructor.  And since they've automated everything, that means that my class is not showing up in my account, nor do I have a course website to put content into.

And classes start Monday, but I have access to only one of the two I'm supposed to teach.

I called the registrar's office to get the class listed as mine, and was told that they couldn't do anything about it anymore, not until my department head files the right forms with the right people.  That new computer system wouldn't let them.

They get that new computer system, and load everything they can into it to save on the workload for the administration (frankly, it makes more work for the professors), and then they don't reduce the number of administrators, secretaries, sub-secretaries, and secretary help in the administration (which would be, in my opinion, the best thing for the university, financially, given what the administration in their infinite uselessness are paid--and their secretaries are paid better than department heads, by the last audit).  Not only that, but the fucking system doesn't work.  It's constantly freezing up and breaking down, not to mention you have to do things in exactly the right way, in exactly the right order, far enough ahead of time before everything shows up properly in it.

Fucking "improvements" almost never are.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Feeling worse.

Went to the doctor this morning--what I thought was just a bit under the weather with a mild UTI was actually a pretty severe UTI, which hadn't manifested how bad it was, yet.  I feel like I've got the flu, just without the head and chest congestion.  And it's going to get worse before it starts getting better. 

So yeah, blogging will probably be light.  And classes start Monday.  And I still don't have access to the site for one of the ones I'll be teaching.


FFOT: The New Black Panther Party

They can fuck off.  They've just taken old, racist, white supremacist rhetoric and done a "find and replace" to turn it into anti-white hate speech.*

Not only does that totally lack originality, but some of the threats made really make most of the people you're threatening angry, not fearful or uncomfortable.  And that bleeds over, in some cases, on your claimed "brothers."

Yes, by claiming that you're speaking for your entire fucking race (as defined by skin color), you are making your entire race look bad.

So, to those racist pieces of cockbiting parasitical twatwaffles can fuck the fuck off, hard enough that eighteen generations of their ancestors feel violated.  They can fuck off with a cricket bat with sharpened corners covered with glass and lubed with acid. 

Aw, fuck it.  That bunch is so oblivious, they'd be certain that it was happening because the white man was trying to put him back in his place.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'm feeling like absolute hell.

Posting will be light until I feel better. 

More fun reading

David Weber is a superb world builder, sometimes to the exclusion of character development, but the worlds he creates are always detailed and awesome.  So far, I've read a good portion of the Honor Harrington series, his Safehold series, a few short stories set in Keith Laumer's Bolo world, and...the Bazhell books. 

So far, the Bazhell books are among my favorites--the first book of which is Oath of Swords.*  How not, when you have five different acknowledged races of Man (elves, dwarves, halflings, regular human, and hradani), a seven-and-a-half foot barbarian from the most magically violated and violent of these races introducing himself by beating the hell out of a rapist prince while he was a political hostage at that court, and a long flight from a god that wants to make that barbarian his champion? 

Bazhell is a remarkably well-developed character with the heart of a paladin (which is why he's called as one), and the skeptical dislike of religion of one who's been severely harmed by one.  Which makes it doubly entertaining when he starts having a god visit his dreams while he's traveling away from his father's court to prevent a war: not only does he not listen, he actively blocks it out, turning run-of-the-mill dreams calling one to service into terrifying nightmares that he can't remember.  It takes a visit by that god's sister (a benevolent, gentle, goddess of music), constant harassment, and finally a summoned demon attacking him for Bazhell to actually stop being stubborn and follow his own inclinations. 

One of the things I found the most entertaining in this is that he doesn't just do the math for his space battles (including acceleration and deceleration in a microgravity vacuum), he also works out grammar rules and structure for his different languages--Bazhell has an interesting way of talking that is more than just an accent, and is always consistent.

I highly recommend this series, especially if you're looking for a high fantasy sword and sorcery romp through a feudal-style world. 

*Not only is the linked copy free, it includes an additional short story David Weber wrote in the same world that has me convinced that Weber occasionally samples either very strong drink, or illicit substances: he pulls modern American soldiers out of the Middle East to help battle a demon, then sends them back with their vehicle damaged.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Can we get a HELL YEAH!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present Andrea Taber: another hero of us poor schmucks that resent our hard-earned money being spent by welfare dependents on things that aren't necessities.  She refuses to accept EBT for her baked sweets at a farmers' market. 

(Shamelessly stolen from The Feral Irishman)

...AND we have another WINNER!!!

Seriously, what kind of conscience-free, mouth-breathing moron would look at his life and think, "Poor me, got no girlfriend, no way to get laid, what do I do?  Oh, I know: I'll go rape Grandma!"

Any normal, sane individual would mow yards for cash, and go pay a hooker.  Instead, this guy's set himself up to be the hooker for some bigger, badder individual who won't even have the courtesy to spit-lube himself, much less offer a reach-around.

Real winners, here.

The New Black Panthers obviously do not understand how the minds and emotions of parents work.  If they actually do manage to firebomb a nursery, either in a hospital or a daycare center, they are going to find out that it's not whites in general they need to fear reprisals from. 

It's mothers of children who either want blood to pay for their murdered babies, or want to see the murderers dead before they can attack their children.  Kipling knew it, and wrote about it.  These knuckleheads would do well to remember
She is wedded to convictions--in default of grosser ties
Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!
He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

And, in case my earlier warning was forgotten, women are the fastest growing demographic of gun ownership. 

And so, in addressing the New Black Panther Party, I say this:

Go ahead.  See what attacking children gets you.  I guaran-damn-tee you, you won't fucking like it.  We mothers will make you hurt, and hurt bad enough you beg to die.  

I can't believe how productive I've been this summer.

I put together and edited Survivors (linked over at the right) from stories I'd written while I was in college.  All together, it was about 46,000 words.

I wrote about two-thirds of a second collection of short stories closely connected enough to be loosely considered a novel, which is currently in the hands of my awesome beta reader and blog buddy M Sgt B.  My cover art is being created by the same person who did the cover art for Survivors, and I'm hoping to have that in my hands soon.  I would guess that The Godshead will be finished and on sale sometime before the start of cold weather.  That one weighs in at 95,000 words, about 65,000 of which were written between the end of finals week in May and a week ago.  I can post the cover blurb I've written if anyone wants to read it.

I'm right at the climax of the third book for the summer--I've written 12,000 words in about six days; not bad for me.  I may well have the first very rough draft done before classes start on Monday.  Currently, The Last Pendragon is sitting at 52,000 words, with probably another ten to twenty thousand words to go to finish it up.  I'll probably start on the outline for the next part of the story right after, so I don't forget where I want to take this world. 

Yes, I'm pushing really hard to get this done.  My writing speed slows to a crawl while I'm working.  Teaching knuckleheads that don't want to learn how to write and how to run a blog sucks the life and creativity right out of me.  If I don't get it done now, it won't get done until January at the earliest. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


The imp now pees standing up.  He doesn't hold it and aim, just kind of leans over the toilet bowl and lets it dangle. 

It's a major step forward, though.

He's been begging to play with other kids, lately, so I've been checking into two half-days per week at a preschool two blocks north of us.  There's a $70 enrollment fee, plus $90/month.  For two half days.  No meals, just play time. 

I dread finding out what private school is going to cost. 


Russell J. Coller, Jr., thank you for hitting that follower button.  It's a little early in the day for my usual offering of various whiskeys, but I can put a fresh pot of coffee on in a jiffy, and there are still peanut butter cookies in the kitchen, and I'll be making chocolate peanut butter chip cookies later.

I'm always glad to make new friends.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask--just be sure you actually want the answer before you ask.

Race or culture?

Many of my students while I was on campus were black.  Most of those were there as student athletes, rather than there to pursue a major into a career that would provide for their needs, and for a life outside of their peer-accepted paths.  My good students got harassed about getting good grades, then turned around and accused me of racism for their own bad grades.

Um...what?  How is it "acting white" for one black kid to work hard to get good grades, but racist for me to assign a bad grade because another black kid won't do any work?  I guess it must be a cultural thing. 

I don't understand why people judge others on the shade of light or dark their skin is.  I honestly don't know anyone who is racist.  Instead, the people I'm acquainted with strongly dislike the nigger culture. 

And whites aren't the ones perpetuating that culture.

Walter Hudson writes of ways racism is perpetuated by its self-proclaimed "victims," but he neglects one huge, overriding cause that the eight things he mentions have in common: culture. 

The ironic thing is that the culture described by the failings of the race-baiters is shared equally by those mired in a culture of inherited poverty and generational dependence on government handouts.  It's also shared by the inhabitants of third-world nations.

He mentions at the end of the article that America, as it was designed to be (no penalties to trading freely in a market that rewards hard work and honest pricing) would be the best way to truly end racism: truly judging a person by their actions and the content of their character as Dr. King called for.  Instead, we have a politically protected class forcing trade with people who don't want to deal with their culture by using harassment and threats, and causing an artificial inflation of prices through increasing the costs of doing business.

It's not the race causing "racism," but the culture causing a perception of such.  Most of the time, at least.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Writing's going better than expected.

I've been away from the book I'm currently working on for more than a year and a half.  I got stuck.  Really stuck.  As in, didn't know how to get the plot moving again, stuck. 

I figured out where I was getting stuck (I may be a shooter, and I may appreciate guns, but I know very little about how they work, or about shooting at longer ranges than 100 yds--nor do I know what it's like to be able to clearly see a target at greater than about 50 yards, even with a good scope), and cut it out. 

Once I did that, the story...exploded, for lack of a better word.  I've written about 2,000 words/day for the last five days. 

The world is coming through richer than I'd anticipated--more of it is revealing itself as I'm no longer trying to force things to go the way I wanted them to.  The characters are sitting up and telling me what they want to do.  The world is sitting up and telling me what it wants to do, and what it wants its rules to be. 

It's telling me that the book I'm currently working on is rushing towards its end, and I'll need to go back through and add scenes here and enrich the details there, once the first draft is done (and no, nobody gets to read a first draft that rough--not until I've worked through at least two or three more drafts). 

And then, to finish the tale, it's going to need at least one more novella. Maybe more than that.

It depends on length of the second part of the story whether I think I can publish it as one work, or if I'm going to need to publish it as a work in two or three parts.  I simply don't know yet. 

I strongly suspect I'll have a first, very rough draft done before Monday, if I can get more time to write.  If I'd had more time the last five days, I'd've probably been churning out 3-5,000 words a day, rather than 1,500-2,000 words. 

I haven't felt the need (or the ability) to write like this since I was in college ('98-'04, for the curious), and managed to write three short novels (which desperately need a reworking), and countless short stories. 

Getting it all out feels...good.

Stupid tax

Student loans are a stupid tax: something you have to pay because you made a stupid decision.

Taking on college debt for your own education is bad.  It's a dumb idea: unless you go to a state university for as little as you can get away with, go directly to work for above minimum wage in the area you majored in, and pay it off quickly, it is going to be a tick against you when it comes time to become a real adult.

Oh, there are certain majors where, if you work where the government tells you to, at the job they paid for you to be trained in, for five full years, they'll write off your debt.  Social work and teaching are two examples that immediately spring to mind.  However, you have to major in certain areas, then find a job in those areas somewhere "under-served," then keep that job (or one like it, in a place like it) for five years.  Most people don't want to do that.

Since most people take on student debt, go to the "best" school they can "afford" (or make it into, since loans make "affordability" a very loosely defined term), go for a degree in some kind of minority group "studies," they wind up with between several tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars in student debt sitting on their necks.  They've already damaged their chances at a job that asks them to do more than check if a customer wants to supersize their order by majoring in some kind of watered-down "studies" program; with that kind of debt on a minimum wage job, they've pissed away most of their future earnings at their minimum wage job.

It's a stupid decision for young people, who have their entire work life ahead of them.  It's even dumber for people nearing the end of their work life.  Because, if you default on those payments, your social security income is not exempt from seizure by Uncle Sam.

As bad as going out in your fifties and taking on a huge load of student debt for yourself is, cosigning on your kids' student loans is worse: you are motivated not to default on your own loan.  Your kid is not so motivated.  And, again, your social security income is not exempt.

Why is that?  Because student loans are federally subsidized.  They are not erasable by bankruptcy.  You cannot dodge them by being on social security.  You literally cannot default on those loans.  They will be paid back, and with your money.  Uncle Sam does not care that you are no longer working and are on a fixed income.  You will pay it back.

Yeah...that's not a danger sign.

When a preschool teacher has a huge collection of child porn, and a several hundred page journal of his little girl/little boy moments, it's a sign that even if he hasn't crossed the line yet, he's either planning to or will by "accident." 

Get that guy away from little kids before he does something to make him need to be put down like the dangerous predator he is. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What is it about little kids...

...and their tendency to crap their diapers when they're in the car seat or high chair, even if they've just pooped right before you fastened them in?

Who didn't see this coming?

First, they came for the smokers...and we didn't say anything because we didn't smoke, and it was none of our business.

Then, they came for the drinkers...and we didn't say anything because we didn't drink.  Too much. 

Then they came for the fatties...and we didn't say much because we acknowledged that we could stand to lose a little weight.

Now, they're trying to define gun violence as a "public health issue" so that they can put pressure on us to become the serfs they imagine us to be.

I hate to tell them this...well, that's a lie.  I will proclaim this boldly, proudly, and at the top of my lungs, as often as it needs to be said: I will not permit anyone to remove my right to protect myself and my family.  I will not permit the government that works for me to penalize me for being a (for the most part) law-abiding citizen.  I will not give in.  I will not surrender.  I will not abide by any law or social engineering that will not affect any but the law abiding. 

I will not give up my guns.  Nor will I pay any penalty to be "permitted" to keep them.  Nor yet will I accept discrimination in my workplace, my health insurance (which is separate from my job), my home insurance, or my property tax. 

The government, in all its infinite wisdom, the doctors in all their concerned busy-body nosiness, and anyone who agrees to abide by whatever the two come up with can go fuck themselves. 

We are commanded to work

My family has one individual in my mother's generation that has a job.  She hates it with a bloody purple passion, but she goes to work, and makes a salary that's two-thirds that of the ones who do a quarter of her work (yes, she does do the work of four people, but she doesn't have a college degree). 

I was recently talking to one of my aunts, a woman who lives on her husband's blind pension and Social Security check, and complains about how little money they have to live on.  She cited Matthew 6 as why she won't get off her ass and go earn a paycheck (well, that and the whole "married women aren't supposed to work outside the house" bullshit--countered here Biblically):
"Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?...And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these....Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." KJV Matthew 6:26, 28-29, 31-32

All of my family reads this as permission to do nothing.  The only thing they do is sit at home, make a huge show  of reading the Bible, singing hymns, and praying several times a day (something the very same chapter recommends against), and God help me if I call during their three-times-a-day hour-long worship service.

Basically, they read this as "Do nothing; God will make sure you get what you need."  

And it is absolutely not so.  They forgot the parable of the talents.  And, apparently, haven't read 2 Thessalonians chapter 3 lately: 
"Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.  For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." (2 Thessalonians 3:8-10)

Thing is, my family would likely say that the passage from Matthew overrides the passage from Thessalonians, because the passage from Matthew is Christ's own words, while Thessalonians is taken from three of His stewards.  I don't think it does--I think, rather, they dovetail together.  Yes, the passage from Matthew does say don't worry about what you're going to eat, or what you're going to wear, and the passage from Thessalonians says that if you won't work, you won't eat; however, I think that the passage from Matthew has been deliberately misinterpreted by the welfare crowd.  I think it's saying don't borrow trouble.  Don't worry.  It's saying do your best, and God will help you with the rest. 

It does say don't be obsessed with food and clothing to the exclusion of everything good and Godly, but that harks back to the whole "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me" thing from Exodus.  It does not say sit back and leave everything up to God.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

If anyone is looking for a new band to listen to...

Within Temptation is it.  Don't take my word for it.  Listen.

This is just a sample. They have slower, prettier stuff, too. They are outright amazing.

Counting down

No, not until the elections.  Until semester starts.  I just realized that I still have a bit to do to prepare for it.  I have my contract that I need to sign and turn in (complete with C.V.), I need to keep an eye on my enrollment for the next week, and, if my second class makes minimum enrollment, I'll need to build my class website for the second class.  I also need to fix a colleague's site before semester starts on August 20.

And after all that BS is done, the grading starts coming in.

Oy.  I wish it was still July.  Or June.  I'd rather be writing, with lots more time to.

Outside, yet again...

It's an absolutely gorgeous morning.  Some idiot is using this beautiful weather to weed-eat their property instead of sitting quietly with a cup of coffee and enjoying the nice, cool, quiet morning, but I'm enjoying being outside for once. 

And the imp?  The imp is busily putting rocks, leaves, and sticks down his slide.  Not sliding down himself, often, just leaves, sticks, dirt, and rocks.  And I'm okay with that, for now. 

The pixie is inside with Daddy, watching cartoons.  With them separated this far, I've got some peaceful time with my little guy.  In a way, I'm kind of sorry he prefers to play off on his own (I get "Mommy go 'way!" if I try to join in).  In another...well, it's time I can spend writing.

Random ramblings

The imp keeps trying to get up at 6:30.  I have been awake since then, this morning, and given that Odysseus didn't get off until midnight last night, I didn't get broken out of my writing until about 12:30.  Or to bed (and sleep) until about 1:00 a.m.  I suspect that I'm going to have much less patience than usual for the kids' antics and bad behavior, today.

The kids have been fighting pretty constantly, lately.  And it's both of them, not just the imp bullying his sister (though I suspect the pixie wouldn't be starting things if she wasn't sure that if she doesn't, he will).  If it's not the imp smacking, pushing, taking a toy away from, or yelling at the pixie, it's the pixie collapsing in tears to get her brother in trouble, or running up to hit or push her brother.  I don't know if this is a phase or what, but they're both getting into trouble for hitting, shoving, taking toys, or screaming at each other. 

It's to the point where I'm strongly considering staggering naptimes to reduce time they're awake together.  The only times they're not fighting is when one or both of them are sleeping, or when they're separated (and even then, they fight across the room or through the gate).

The imp is starting to dream about things and remember them when he wakes up.  Yesterday, he talked all day about going to Super Why's house in a dream, and playing with the kids.  It was incredibly cute. 

The pixie is starting to say her own name, and her vocabulary is exploding.  She's also using more and more three word phrases: this morning, as I was carrying her from her bed to the chair I nurse her in, she held up this little sock elephant (like a sock monkey, but different animal), and tells me, all huge eyes and earnest face, "hold efant's tail."  And she was. 

The Godshead is currently in the hands of my wonderful beta reader (for this book), M Sgt B.  I can't do anything with it until I've been away from it long enough to be able to see it for what it is on paper, instead of what I see it as in my head--and that includes editing for typos, punctuation, and plot holes that need filled.  Let me know if there's interest, and I'll post what I've written for the back cover.

So, in the meantime, I've picked up the project I'd been planning to write over Christmas break.  I've spent a couple days refamiliarizing myself with the characters and my planned story line for my take on the Arthur legends.  And, in two days, I've written almost 4,500 words (about ten pages) of plot and character development, while juggling chasing kids and making cookies.  It feels like I'm kind of on a roll with this.  I'll see how far I can get in nine more days.  If the pace of my writing keeps up, I may end up with a 2/3 finished novel, instead of a 1/3 finished novel. 

I have it on good authority that all of the on-campus Freshman Composition I classes are full, and that the last big enrollment push hasn't happened, yet.  I have fourteen in one class, none in the other, and we have a head of department that doesn't see anything wrong with enrolling first semester freshmen in online classes (I don't either--the more knuckleheads that drop out early because no one is wiping their noses for them, the fewer there are later).  I'm probably going to have a full load for about two weeks.  Maybe less. 

Maybe freshmen deciding that the online class is "too hard!  I can't do this!" will give me more time to write. 

It's getting to be a hell of a lot more satisfying than teaching. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Does this happen to anyone else?

Odysseus and I caught the pixie about to put something in her mouth, and took it away from her, only to find it was a nut and washer.  And as soon as she handed them over, she crawled back under the end table I thought she found it under, reached up, and started fiddling with something that rattled. 

I picked up the end table and set it on its top in the chair next to it, and nut and washer missing, and a second (on a different leg) was loose, and nearly off. 

Does anyone else have kids that disassembled furniture before their second birthday?

Two batches of cookies down...

With how hot it's been lately, I haven't been able to keep the cookie jar filled.  So, since we've had some relief from the insanely hot temperatures, I made a batch of peanut butter cookies (from a mix I'd had for a while), and a big batch (nearly four dozen) oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  I'm putting the latter in the freezer, and will be making cocoa drop cookies with peanut butter chips tomorrow.  Half of that batch will go into the freezer, as well. 

I sent Odysseus out with the imp last night, with orders to bring home a couple cans of black beans.  I made chili for supper, last night.  He had leftovers for lunch, and I put another  bit into the freezer (and I plan to make more tomorrow for lunch--much of which will go into the freezer). 

I don't know if it's going to get as hot as it was during all of July, again, but I'm kind of planning on being prepared for it if it does.  I really enjoy cooking, and my family enjoys the results of that particular quirk of mine, and I hate it when it's too hot to even think about it. 

FFOT: still stuck on mad at the stupid

The abortion activist abortion provider (blogged about here and here) who claimed to be providing a service by aborting "ugly black babies" can fuck off.  Hard.  No, harder than that.  I want him to  fuck off so hard his momma feels violated and slaps the shit out of him.

Your turn.  Have at it.  Vent your frustrations in the comments.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I'd been stuck on the story based on the Arthur legends, but something came to me today while I was watching the pixie make a muddy mess of herself. 

I've got eleven days.  I'm caught back up with what I have done, and know where I need to back up to.  Let's see how much of that I can get written in eleven days.  

I have a water baby.

The imp doesn't really like to play in his rock box when there's water in it.  He does pick up rocks and toss them into the water (the only time he's allowed to throw rocks).

The pixie doesn't really like to play outside often, so when she wants to, I try to take her outside (provided it's not too hot).  She demonstrated, today, that she will climb into the rock box when it's still got water in it from a rain storm.  Treated it like a wading pool, she did.

In her dress.  And shoes and socks.  And diaper. 

It was cute, but she was covered in mud and leaf mold.  She was still a horrible, muddy mess begging for a bath, even after I stripped her to her skin on the linoleum floor in the kitchen and wiped her down with her wet dress top.

A lighthearted romp through the realms of the improbable...

Okay, imagine that Earth's h. sapiens wasn't the only version out there.  Imagine that Earth was invaded by a whole advanced stellar empire of a different version.  One with big noses, fur, and tails.  Now, imagine that that bunch of different-humans weren't...quite so strong in the pure I.Q. department as our kind.  Or the common sense department. 

Once you've got those ideas set in mind, you've got the basic ideas behind Christopher Anvil's Pandora's Legions

I read Pandora's Legions for the first time several years ago, not long after I discovered Baen's free library website.  Since then, I've read it a few more times.  It has never failed to make me laugh out loud.  Anvil writes this from the point of view of the Centrans, and the befuddled horror as the benevolent dictators discovered that their newest "conquered" people weren't quite so readily subdued (and why) comes through clearly and realistically. 

The book itself is a compilation of a novelette and several shorter pieces set in the same world, only collected into novel form much, much later by Baen's Eric Flint. 

I very highly recommend this book.  It really is laugh out loud funny.  And it is, after all, free for download or to read online, at the above link.

First draft: done.

I finished The Godshead last night, and sent it off to the guinea pig volunteer beta reader this morning.

I'm going to pull up and work on my next piece--I've got another story that's about 40,000 words and maybe a quarter of the way done. 

I do, after all, still have eleven days before semester starts.  And if I try editing The Godshead today, I'll see what I meant to write, instead of what I actually wrote.  Maybe in a few days I can, but why not be productive with something in the meantime?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What do I call this?

1/2 lb macaroni, or some such (not spaghetti--wouldn't work)
~1 c shredded leftover roast
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c sour cream

1. cook macaroni according to instructions until done.  Drain.  2. Add meat, soup, sour cream.  Warm through.

I added a dash of oregano, but that's just because it smelled good to me tonight.  I sprinkled some shredded cheddar on top of my second helping.  I suppose you could just add it to the pot  It would probably be good with frozen peas and carrots added, but I didn't have any handy.

I don't know what to call this, other than tasty comfort food.  You can leave your vote in the comments.

Oh, yeah: the pixie loved it, the imp wouldn't come near it, despite telling me he wanted to "eat Mama's food."

I hate migraines.

I've had one for the past three days.  Coffee only helps temporarily.  Tylenol works for maybe half an hour.  Tylenol plus Aleve works for maybe an hour and a half.  Add coffee into the mix, and I might get two hours.  Darvocet doesn't work well for long.

I wish I could trust the kids not to hurt each other enough to be able to go find the earplugs.  Their little voices are just like an icepick into the right side of my head.  And I really hate that.  Their voices are precious, and they're talking more and more, picking up new words daily.  I hate wishing they'd just shut up for a while. 

I'm trying a quick and dirty leftovers recipe (have a few slices of beef roast that need eaten up).  If it turns out tasty, I'll put it up.    

Of course government doesn't smother small businesses in regulations!

Those tags required on pillows are there for consumer safety--they're not there to block new ideas and new companies out of the market on costs of complying with stupid, redundant laws, after all.

I am so glad I'm self-publishing books, and that Amazon is mostly dealing with the legal stuff.

Just one to go.

I started writing The Godshead last Thanksgiving break, and wrote four of the stories over the course of that break.  I wrote about another dozen over Christmas break while I was putting Survivors (linked over at the right) together.  I've spent this summer working to finish writing the stories, and to put Godshead together (as well as get Survivors published). 

I have one more story that needs to be included.  And that story is about a third of the way done.  I'll probably finish the first draft of that story this morning, then work on editing it, formatting it, and getting it put into the collection. 

I will probably be finished with a first draft of The Godshead tonight.  I need to contact my cover artist, to see about getting that done, too. 

That means I'll probably be publishing another book before the end of summer. 

It actually feels really good to be able to write like that.  I haven't had the time or the hands free to be able to do that since the imp was born--I've been teaching through summers and/or nursing children pretty consistently until this summer. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Another candidate for after-birth abortion.

I've been giving further thought to the racist bastard I wrote about this morning, and then remembered something else from that news story: the bastard was the abortion doctor, and did not refer to fetal tissue, nor embryos, nor fetuses, but babies when he was talking about the act of aborting a black child. 

That tells me that not only is he a racist bastard, but a sick and heartless one, too.  He was openly advocating murdering helpless children.  BabiesNot fetuses.  Babies.

I have no other words.  I do, however, have small pieces of lead.  I need to go to the range with a few thousand rounds of ammunition, at least one rifle, and several pieces of paper containing concentric circles for some loud quiet time. 

Too adorable for words.

Have any of my readers ever seen Scotty puppies that are about two and a half weeks old?  As the imp says: " cute.  Cute nose.  Cute ears.  Cute tail and butt."

Then he says, "Take two home?"  But in about another month, we will be bringing one home. 

Who's the racist?

Is it the conservative who finds gangsta rap distasteful in how it refers to white people and horrifying in how it refers to women and the police?  Or is it the pro-abortion activist who believes killing "ugly black babies" relieves a burden on taxpayers and prevents future crime? 

Dude, challenging Christian conservatives to adopt black children will backfire on your ass.  If I had a chance, and didn't have to put up with the government getting all up in my business, I'd be happy to adopt one or two.  Especially if that meant that they didn't get murdered before they were born, or get murdered in a random drive-by shooting in whatever hell-hole their birth mother chose to raise them in.  And I'm not necessarily a conservative Christian so much as I am a libertarian. 

I know several couples who would leap at the chance to adopt a child, no matter what color the baby was.  I don't personally know anyone who gives a shit about the color of a child's skin, especially when they're so small that they haven't made the personal choice to be a nigger, yet. 

So yeah.  Give us a chance to adopt those children.  Remove some of the regulatory roadblocks, and some of the expense.  You'll be surprised at just how little racism exists anywhere outside the far left, or the black community.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Two to go...

My next book, The Godshead, has two stories/chapters to go before I'm done with a first draft.  The last two stories I have in mind are pretty well formed, so I should be able to finish them this week.  That means I'll have about a week between finishing this book and the start of next semester to revise/rework the book. 

I may well be publishing another book soon.  I'll let y'all know.

The joys of home ownership, part 2

Got the guy we've worked with on home repairs called, today.  He doesn't do home repairs/remodeling anymore.  He's only doing electrical work, now.  He did, however, give us a name and number to call. 

The repairs will be done sometime between Wednesday and Friday.  Thankfully, it won't cost too much. 

Here's hoping we don't have to worry about a possum in our furnace closet between now and then. 


I'd like to thank any of my readers that bought/read Survivors.  I didn't expect to sell even half a dozen copies, much less the eleven that sold. 

So, once again: thanks.

Fall semester is getting closer...

Two weeks from today, classes are starting.  I've got fourteen days before I have to get back to work trying to teach barely literate teenagers how to write college papers. 

Sometimes, I wonder why literacy and college readiness levels have fallen so far so fast (I've seen dramatic decreases even in the nine years I've been teaching), but then I remember a couple things:
  • I started out an English/Teacher Education double major.  My first teacher ed class (Intro to Teacher Ed I) made clear that I didn't need a major in English (and, indeed, should drop that part of the major).  The instructor told me "You don't need to know the material you teach.  You just need to know how to teach.  Then you can teach anything."
  • As a brand-new graduate teaching assistant, one of my equally brand-new colleagues (wearing shorts, a tank top, flip flops, and sporting a mohawk, multiple facial piercings, and tattoos) asked if there was a dress code for teachers.   We were told no, that it would be best to wear whatever we wanted, and it wouldn't diminish student respect for us if we were dressed like them.
So, to recap, you don't need to know the subject you're teaching any better than your students do, and you don't need to create any artificial distinction between teacher and student, despite many schools having done away with distinctions that aren't artificial (like the knowledge thing).

We have, resulting from that, teachers fucking students, students bullying/assaulting teachers, students not learning the material because teachers have no idea what they're trying to teach, much less how to present it in different ways for different learners, and a distinct lack of respect on the parts of both teachers and students.

Before anyone says I'm exaggerating...I'm not.  I'm really not.  I'm seeing the results of these bad decisions on the parts of school administrations.  I see students who don't respect each other, don't respect me, and don't believe that they can or should make any effort to learn something that "won't be of any use" to them after they get out of college.   These kids used to be a small minority of the class that were easily driven off, but they're increasing in numbers.  Now, they often make up half, or more, of a class.  Yes, some of it is non-existent or bad parenting, but at least as much of this behavior is taught in public school, K-12.

Is it any wonder I'm either going to home-school my kids or send them to Catholic school?   

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I'm not sure if this song is awesome, or blasphemy against the original...

The joys of home ownership...

Last night, after I'd put the kittens in the laundry room for the night, I heard a rustling from what I thought was the bathroom (there's a pass through from the back room to the bathroom for the water and drain hoses for the washer).  I thought the kittens had managed to find their way out of confinement.

I was wrong.  There was a possum in the furnace closet, right across the hall from the bathroom. 

So, we called an exterminator, and the little bastard vanished.  Back up into the attic. 

The exterminator came back today to set some live traps.  He climbed up into the attic and found where the critters have been getting in: the eaves all along the northeast corner of the house are rotten and full of holes. 

Fun, fun.  I have no idea how much that's going to cost to fix.

Good thing we have a reserve.

Pharisees & Publicans

10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
KJV Luke 18: 10-13
 This particular parable has always stuck with me when I see people praying loudly in public, or loudly at home in front of relatives they rarely see, and formed much of my opinions over how to have a relationship with God. 

I cannot stand being around people praying loudly in public for most occasions.  Asking a benediction on a meeting or gathering a group of mourners together for comfort after a tragedy are notable exceptions; however, I live in the Midwest.  In the buckle of the bible belt.  I see so many rabid evangelicals praying loudly in public for God to show others the errors of their ways, while ignoring their own faults. 

Yeah, like the guy in Indiana--the pastor of the megachurch that was boinking a girl who was almost forty years younger than him.  Adultery and child abuse are pretty big faults.

Another bunch of examples are in some of the kids I went to public school with.  They constantly bothered me with the "Are you saved?  Come to church with us!"  When I refused, no matter how politely, they always started praying loudly for my soul as I walked away. 

Idiots.  You should have seen some of their behaviors at other times: thoughtlessly cruel, proud, licentious...the list goes on.  I don't know what in the world let them think that I didn't have a relationship with God. 

Pharisees.  The lot of them. 

A relationship with God is supposed to be conducted between the individual and Him.  It's not supposed to be something you trot out into the spotlight to show off that you're a better person than those around you.  Especially not when you're praying for someone's soul, as loudly as you can, while you're dressed like you make a living standing on a corner, flagging down lonely men, and planning to fornicate with a boyfriend/girlfriend later in the evening.

I'm not perfect.  I don't claim to be (quite the opposite, in fact).  I won't pretend I am.  Nor will I make my relationship with God something to be used to bully others, or to persuade them to think I'm better than I am, or than they are. 

I try, very hard, to be like the publican, an individual who quietly admits what they are: a sinner, deeply unworthy of the gift of grace, but grateful and accepting of it regardless.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Our friends just left.  They left not too long after bath time for the kids.  I made the mistake of saying the word "bath," and the imp starts shrieking "Have baf?"

And then he strips.  Totally.  Right in the middle of the living room, in front of God and our two guests.  Left his underwear in the doorway, too.   

Both guests busted up laughing, which got the pixie into the game, trying to yank off her diaper. 

Our guests left, just as the kids were wanting to get out, and both kids started in with streaking up and down the hall, screaming in laughter, and causing our guests to stagger as they headed out, because of how hard they were laughing.

My kids are fast.  They're even faster when they're naked.  They're faster than that when they're wet and naked, and still coated with bubble-bath.

Random ramblings

The imp will be home sometime right around lunch time, today.  The pixie has missed him.  So have the kittens.  So have I.  I love my in-laws enough to let them keep him overnight without too much worry, but I do miss the little twerp, even if I don't miss the kids fighting. 

The pixie woke me up at 7:30, and isn't back to sleep, yet.  I usually can get her back down for a couple hours to stand in for the morning nap she still kinda needs, but refuses to take.  She's twenty months old, as of today. 

Right now, she's giggling and talking to her Pooh Bear.  It's cute, but I'd rather go back to sleep, which I can't do unless she does. 

I have four stories left in The Godshead.  I shouldn't have any problem getting the rough draft finished before classes start up again.  I may be able to get a final draft finished before classes start.  I'll just have to see what I can do.  After semester starts, I may have time to edit, but won't have time to write.

We're having issues getting my new laptop to see the printer on Odysseus's computer.  For a little while, it wasn't even seeing the computer, so progress is being made.   Slowly.  I just can't print anything right now to be able to edit it.

I tried playing with the order of stories, to see if I could make for a better hook into the book with the Amazon "Look Inside" feature--Odysseus said that he'd wished, after the fact, that I'd put one of the gut-punch stories earlier in Survivor for such reason--but discovered that, while The Godshead is basically a collection of interconnected short stories, they are interconnected in such a way that I can't reorder them without mucking up the timeline that they all sort of loosely fall into.

Back in the eighteenth century, when the novel was a new form of literature, there was a form called the epistolary novel--a series of letters that told a story.  Robinson Crusoe was closely related, as a diary turned novel.  I don't think I've seen a short story novel outside of Heinlein's work--Time Enough for Love certainly qualifies, even if it's more a collection of novelas.  I may be a bit pretentious, but I guess The Godshead sits in good company, where form is concerned.  

After that's done and published, I've got a couple ways I can go: I can either try to finish my take on the Arthurian legends, or I can try starting the next book in the Modern Gods series that I have a rough idea for.  I guess it'll depend on sales. 

That will have to wait until Christmas break, though, unless I only end up with one class (which seems, at this point, to be a distinct possibility).  Grading fifty students' first drafts of papers every three weeks with a final draft a week later, plus grading fifty students' blogs every week plus everything else an online instructor does to keep the class running smoothly, and to help everyone learn that wants to, takes up too much time and mental energy to be able to write.  I do wonder, though, if it would make a difference with half that number?

Actually, it's never fifty students.  I usually have an average of about two per class drop before even signing in (actually, it's more like about five, but I usually have several dropping into the class as others drop out of it, so it averages out to about two slots unfilled), then I usually have about one or two students stop participating every couple weeks or so, until I have between fifteen and twenty students per class.  A manageable number for a class that focuses solely on writing, and a lot of it, and almost all of it graded.

My mother in law asked about one of the public pre-schools, run by the school districts, and if that would be an option for the imp, since he's old enough.  Those things do "testing" if the kids aren't completely "normal."  Yes, parents are permitted to refuse permission, in theory.  In practice, I've heard of parents who refused the testing who got their lives turned inside out by child illfare.  In practice, kids with disabled labels are worth a lot of money to the school districts, and the ones who have labels without actual problems are worth even more money--they don't have to spend the ADA money on accommodations, if the kids are labeled but there's nothing wrong.  

So, no.  My son is not stepping foot in the public school system.  Not for anything short of a court order saying that homeschooling isn't allowed, and neither is private schooling.

I've seen the end result of thirteen plus years of public school.  It's always been bad, but it's getting worse, year by year.  I will not permit my son or my daughter to be that ill-served, ill-prepared, and ill-educated.