Monday, December 31, 2012

I resolve... try to go to bed half an hour earlier, so that it's not quite so painful getting up with the kids at 7:30. get the things done around the house we really need done (i.e., the deck torn down and replaced with a set of steps and a small patio; the bathtub in the hall bathroom repaired or torn out and replaced; the lower cabinets shifted and the dishwasher plumbed in, if possible, or replaced, if not). get overwhelmed, quit working at the gigantic job making me depressed (whatever it is) and fall behind less often.  Baby steps, HH.  Baby steps.

I won't resolve to be a better person, because I know myself well enough to know that I'm not capable of it.  Not even in the fake-it-till-you-make-it way of trying (I tried before.  I've failed.).  I simply do not like my fellow man well enough.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sheer awesome.

The Hobbit, I mean.  Peter Jackson takes a whole lot of things that were glossed over in the book and blows them up on screen.  The movie took almost three hours just to get through about a third of the book. 

I can't wait for the rest.  I may, yet again, brave the horde of smartphone zombies and see it in the theater.

Fun time!

We had a couple of friends (and their kids) over last night.  Mom and the kids left right about eight (and I got my kids into bed not too long afterward--very late for the pixie, who's still asleep), but Dad stuck around until nearly one this morning. 

Unfortunately, I had to shut it down at that point.  We have plans for today. 

We're going to be dropping the kids off with their grandparents (Odysseus's parents), going into town for lunch and a matinee of The Hobbit

I can't wait. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A good night for something hot.

Conditions as of last reading an hour ago: 35 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of 29.  Wind is straight out of the west. 

Definitely a good night for chili.

Random ramblings...

So...other than the imp's far more frequent temper tantrums, he's regressed on wetting.  I can't wait until I can get them back into the routine they're used to. 

The pixie is having frequent bad dreams, for much the same reason. 

I'm making some slight progress on the after-Christmas cleanup.  We have a good sized bag of wrapping paper, boxes, and blister packs in a garbage bag in the corner of the living room.  There's only a bit left, now.  Next will be putting away the new toys and clothes.

The pup is getting a bath, today, once I've got the living room cleaned up to the point that she's not got much to tear up.  I hate keeping her crated or penned outside.  She gets overexcited, and jumps all over the kids when she gets to play in the living room again.  We have got to get her over that.

In trying to keep the kittens from clawing pinholes into our new washer drain hose, we rolled up and duct taped a rubber-backed kitchen mat around the hoses.  This has the added benefit of keeping the kittens from getting into the bathroom, with only a little extra duct tape.  That means that the imp can go to the bathroom without having to worry about getting run over by stampeding kittens trying to escape (they're not quite eight months old, and one of them is already ten pounds.  The other one is eight pounds). 

I'm still working on writing (currently working on the sequel to The Godshead), but there's not much I can do about my classes for the moment.  I have no idea what my course site is going to look like, other than riddled with typos.  I don't know what the assignments will be, how much grading I'm going to have, or how much busy work my kids will have to deal with each week (since they will be having to do something every week). 

Spam, spam, spam, spam...

No, not in my blog comments, in my email.  One in particular caught my eye this morning:
Tell us what you think of Starbucks, and win a $25 gift card!!!
I strongly suspect I wouldn't get the gift card if I told them what I really thought of Starbucks.  Since I don't drink coffee drinks (just plain, black coffee, with nothing hiding the flavor), I think their coffee sucks.  The beans are stale, probably ground a very long time ago, then left out in a non-airtight container for months, if not years, judging by the taste.  They don't grind the beans fine enough, use bleached paper filters, and aren't careful not to spill the ground coffee into the basket under the filter. 

So, yeah.  Starbucks coffee sucks.  I've heard their coffee drinks are good, but their coffee, which is all I drink, sucks donkey balls.

Friday, December 28, 2012


I've got housework to do in the morning; right now the dishwasher is running, and is set to dry the dishes in it, so that I can unload what's there, and reload it tonight.  I'll run it in the morning.

I've also been working on my writing.  I've given up on something I'd started during college, for the time being, and started work on the next Modern Gods novel.  For those of you who read The Godshead...this  one is going to be told by Hades.  Sound fun? 

Other than that, it's been a pretty constant round of activity, with just a day or two off, here and there, all week.  Monday, we went to my in-laws' house for the family celebration there.  Tuesday, we had our small gift exchange.  Wednesday, we had the pixie's doctor's appointment (she's now 33 inches tall, and 26 pounds--six months ago, she was 29 inches, and 23 pounds), and then the imp's meltdown tantrums.  Funny how that second one stopped so quickly, after the punishment the first one earned...  Anyway.  Yesterday, we went to my family's house for my family's celebration...and that's enough of that.  My mom got the pixie a tea set, and for a two year old that's only seen a tea party one time on Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, she instantly knew what to do with it.  Tomorrow, we'll see a set of friends that came by before I had the last batch of cookies made.  I'll be making chili and they'll be staying for dinner.

I haven't had time to sit down much, and when I have...well, I've just kind of stared at the ceiling in an exhausted daze. 

God, it's going to be good to get the kids back to their normal routine. 

FFOT: Christmas mess

Boxes, wrapping paper, tags, and tape strewn about, mixed together with toys, clothes, books, and other miscellaneous gifts, can fuck the fuck off.  It is completely impossible to clean up as you go when small children are opening gifts.  My daughter, in particular, fishes wrapping paper back out of the trash because it's pretty.

Who the hell came up with the brilliant idea of boxing and wrapping stuff in the first place? Whoever had that wonderful epiphany can fuck off so hard that eighteen generations of their ancestors and descendents feel raw from it, and bitch-slap them when they meet them in the afterlife.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nothing left but the cleanup...

We got back from our Christmas celebration with my mother's side of the family about an hour ago.  The kids have since been bathed, and jammied, and are now eating a bit of a snack before bed (neither were real pleased with dinner--my family seems incapable of creating anything but bland food, and neither kid likes bland). 

So far, so good.  Next step: sort through everything, store toys that are too young for the kids, and find places for the rest. 

So, my goal of surviving Christmas seems to have been managed.  Next goal?  Managing to get some of the toys taken and stored.  The kids are really possessive.  Even of things they never play with.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I love my son.

The pixie had a doctor's appointment, this morning.  After that, we went to Home Depot to get a drain hose for the washer (and have fixed it so the cats can't put holes in it crawling through into the bathroom).  We got one of their big, impossible to steer, orange plastic carts with seats for two small children and steering wheels.  It didn't take long to get what we needed.

And then trouble started.  I'd planed to go out for lunch, since it was early lunch time, and we were right next door to a family favorite restaurant.

However, as we went to leave, the imp started throwing a tantrum.  And I told him that if he hadn't shut it down by the time we were out of the parking lot, he was getting water.  He shut it down halfway to the restaurant, then asked for root beer.  I said no, and he started up again.  We told him to shut it down before we got parked, or we were going home.

Needless to say, he did not stop throwing the tantrum.  So we didn't eat at our favorite restaurant.  And he kept screaming, crying, thrashing, near-hyperventilating, and saying that he was a good boy, go back eat at fry place (which was an outright lie).  All.  The.  Way.  Home.  Twenty minutes of tantrum. 

I sent him up onto the porch, and sent Odysseus and the pixie out for lunch, while I dealt with the imp.

(He actually went from near-hyperventilating to full-on hyperventilating, during the course of this tantrum after we'd gotten home.  And we don't have any paper bags.  And the imp is clausterphobic, so that might have made things worse, anyway.  I'd read about another method: throwing a small cup full of cold water into the face of the person hyperventilating.  It works, but it's deeply unpleasant.)

It was unfair of him to ruin the outing for the rest of us.  It would have been worse of me to give in and let him have what he wanted, just to keep the peace.  I love my son far too much to let him grow up into a spoiled bully, and I love him far too much to refuse to teach him that choices and actions have consequences. 

He knows there are consequences, now.  And the tantrum he threw this evening at Wal-Mart shut down well before the harsher consequences set in. 

Hopefully this is a lesson that he doesn't have to learn the hard way as an adult, when consequences for bad choices can and likely will be permanent.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Busy day ahead.

As soon as we get loaded up, we're going to go up to the kids' grandparents' home, for our bigger family Christmas celebration.  Tomorrow morning, we'll have a smaller one, just for us (before Odysseus has to head out to work), and then Thursday, we'll go up to my mom's.

With a two year old and a four year old.  And without forgetting anything.

And my family wonders why my goal this week is to survive Christmas.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Goals for the week

1. Survive Christmas.


Bad night, last night.  The neighbors have a dog.  Our window is just across from their back door.  'Bout one this morning, that dog started barking it's fool head off.  And would. Not. Stop.  Barking.  Odysseus finally got it quieted by going out and yelling at it. 

Half an hour later, I was awakened again by the imp squalling.  He was cold, and told me "I need tucked in.  Snuggle a little while?"

(About this point, I noticed the start of a headache.)

About five is the time we have set on the alarm to walk the puppy.  And the headache I'd noticed starting was worse.  I went back to bed, and adjusted to go back to sleep.

And, of course, the imp wakes me up at 7:30 by heading for the bathroom.  Woke the pixie a couple minutes later by being incapable of keeping his mouth shut for the ten seconds it would take to get from the bathroom to the couch.

So, all in all, it's been an incredibly sucky morning.  And we still have the last of the Christmas shopping to do today. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Those of you who've read my work and liked it, could you do me a huge favor?  Up at the top of the page, there's a new tab, Advertising Flyers.  So far, I've put one together for The Godshead, and left a link for it.  Those of you who have your own printer, could you print some and post them on bulletin boards in your communities? 

I don't know how well it'll work, if it will work, but I can't think of anything else that doesn't make me feel like a spammer.

Random ramblings

It's been a long damn day.  I am so tired I can hardly see straight, and it's nearly two hours before the pixie's bedtime.  Nearly three until I can put the imp to bed. 

The kids got up quietly enough that I didn't wake up until I heard the pixie start squalling.  The imp had gotten her out of her room, and the two of them into the living room, where they'd gotten into stuff...then he'd pushed her off the couch.  I got up to the cats out of the back room via the open bathroom, nearly every light in the house on, the stereo on and CD player open with a DVD in it, and the pixie lying on the floor on her back, still crying, while the imp sat on the couch, leaning over and watching her. 

It's gone downhill from there.  The imp has been meaner than a snake today, the pixie has been clingy and whiny and didn't really want to eat. 

And we still had Christmas shopping to do.  With mean little boy and whiny little girl in tow.

At least it distracted them.

Okay, now for last week's goals:
1. Bathe the stinky puppy.

The pup has been washed.  She'll be washed again probably on Christmas day.  Because she's going to have to go to my mom's with us a couple days later, since it's going to be too fucking cold to leave her outside.
2. Finish clearing the table off in the kitchen; finish clearing the counter tops.  Install new, battery-operated LED light bars under cabinets for light to work by.
Mostly done: right now, most of what's covering the counters is prep for assembling Christmas baskets, and the table is two-thirds of the way cleared off.  The LED light bars are awesome--they work from a remote control light switch thing mounted behind my kitchen faucet.
3. Finish switching out the pixie's new dresser with her chest of drawers (which is now mine--and needs moved).

4. Get all of the clean clothes put away.
Done, and mostly done.  I still need to clear stuff away from in front of the dresser that's now Odysseus's, so that I can put his clothes away, and clear the rest of mine into my chest of drawers.

The "play with the kids" goal has been accomplished.  As much as I can, anyway.  I can't keep up with them, and when they're acting like they have today, I don't really want to have much to do with them.

I can't wait until the routine-breaking holiday is over.  I really hate that part of all of this.

Friday, December 21, 2012


I know I need to.  I haven't the first clue how to go about it.  All I know to do is to keep talking about my books on my blog(s) and MyFaceSpaceBook page, but that really feels like I'm doing nothing but spamming people. 

Maybe I need to print flyers?  If so, would it be possible to add those silly little black and white checkered looking squares that smartphones scan like barcodes?

I don't know how any of this works.  If anyone that reads this blog has any ideas, could you drop me a line in the comments?

Note(s) to self:

1. Do not let Odysseus load the washer again.

2. Find a way to dissuade Cricket from climbing through from the back room to the bathroom.

Forty dollars for a service visit ain't bad, but we're going to have to replace a newly-leaky drain hose on the washer, and may have to replace the washer, since the motor's been overheated a couple times by a sock jammed between the top of the tub and the rim by two loads crammed into one.

FFOT: miscellaneous

I've got a short list this morning.
  • Psychos that shoot up gun free zones, especially schools, can fuck the fuck off so hard that their great-grandparents feel it.
  • Parents that don't give their children a solid foundation from which to build their lives, leaving an empty spot inside them and lacking knowledge that there is such a thing as evil (rather than just "bad choices") can fuck the fuck off.
  • Churches that have become wishy-washy, not teaching their people that there is such a thing as sin, much less what the Bible says it is, or condemning it when people do it.  And that don't teach about hell, and the consequences of sin.  People that don't fear consequences don't fear committing evil acts.
  • Politicians using dead children to push their own agendas, whatever they may be, the day of and the day after a tragedy can fuck off.  That's not only tasteless and wrong, it increases the pain of the parents involved.
  • Last up: Christmas shoppers.  Christmas shoppers crowding the roads and parking lots and stores, paying attention to nothing and no one but themselves.  They can fuck off so hard that their asses implode.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I was told that it would be to my benefit as a writer to get a MyFaceSpaceBook page put together to help publicize my work.

I really didn't want to, but did anyway. 

And what do you know, I got back in touch with some friends I haven't seen in years. 

Who'd have thought?

Been busy, lately.

I've been trying to write on a story I've been working on, and every time I look at the news feeds, my brain and creativity just...freezes up.  Substantive posts on current events are likely to be thin on the ground for a while--at least during Christmas Break. 

Last call...

Survivors is coming off the free list as of midnight tonight.  If you want it, better go download it soon.

Definitely a chili day.

Current temp of 33 degrees, and a wind chill of 18?  Yeah, I'm really glad I put the beans to soak last night to make chili for lunch today.  I'm going to be changing to flannel lined jeans before I walk the puppy again.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dinner with friends...

A couple of good friends of ours came over this evening.  I made taco casserole (leave out the enchilada sauce from the beef enchilada casserole in my recipes), and we had oatmeal cranberry white chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Oh, and many, many toddler giggles.  I can't rightly call the pixie a baby, anymore, and the imp is pretty well grown out of toddler-hood (though not many giggles from him, since he kept getting in trouble). 

It seemed to be fun for all.

I only wish I could host some of my blog buddies...too bad they all live so far away.  :(

Making cookies...

It's getting close enough to Christmas that I'm finishing assembling things to go into Christmas baskets.  Things like cookies.  I'm going to make three kinds of cookies: oatmeal chocolate chip, oatmeal cranberry white chocolate chip, and chocolate peanut butter chip.  I've got a pair of friends with kids, and the kids get a dozen of each kind (the parents get booze).  I'll take a dozen of each kind to my in-laws', too.  The neighbors across the street will get a half dozen of each kind (college kids from California--they don't get home cooking very often). 

I do enjoy making (and eating) cookies.  The part I don't like is cleaning up afterward. 

book still free...

Survivors is still on the free list.  You can click on the link over at the right.


I'd love to welcome a longtime friend, Nicomaru (who has a Facebook page, but no blog).  Thanks for commenting and for hitting that follower button.  If you lived here instead of where you do, you'd be invited to dinner tonight--beef enchilada casserole, followed by cookies and cocoa or coffee. 

I've got coffee in the pot right now...want some?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas shopping...done.

With the exception of fruit (and a few, small treats for gift baskets), the shopping part of Christmas shopping is done. 

Now, I've got to make a few batches of cookies--which I'll be doing tomorrow while I clean the kitchen.

I hate Christmas shopping when every idiot and his dog are careering around the parking lots and stores, either jabbering or texting away.  Makes me want to kick them between the legs (yes, both genders.  What, you think it only hurts men???)


I set up a "It's free!!!" promo for Survivors* (and stupidly screwed up the dates--sorry).  It went up for free as of 12:00 a.m. this morning, and I've already moved seven copies.  I'm impressed!

*Please leave me a customer review on Amazon, if you can.  It's all I ask.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Our distance learning courses have been handed over to a "Master" instructor for redesign.

My textbook?  Scrapped. 

My assignments?  Scrapped.

And the instructor they got to redesign the thing wasn't able/willing to work with the people in the distance learning department, so I'm betting the course won't function, either. 

My work as a teacher has been downgraded to teaching assistant/grader. 

I'll try it for one semester.  If it works the way I think it will, I may well be done teaching sooner than I thought I would be. 



I'm so sorry about this--I put the dates in on the free promotion for Survivors wrong.  It starts tomorrow and runs through Thursday. 

Need another reason to home school?

Here's another story of a female vice-principal strip-searching a boy.  This one was ten.  And it was over a "stolen" $20 bill that was later found in the cafeteria. 

He'd dived under a table to retrieve money that a classmate had dropped, and returned it to her.  Then he was accused of stealing the $20 bill.  The vice principal didn't believe the kid that he didn't have it, despite forcing him to turn all his pockets inside out and show that he didn't.  So, what's next?  Believe him and look elsewhere?  No, not for a bureaucrat.  That makes sense.  Strip the kid and search him?  Brilliant!

Except...the kid really was telling the truth.  He didn't have the twenty. 

Honestly, I wonder what the girl was doing carrying that much cash in the first place.  Was she the local drug provider to the elementary/middle school? 

Oh, wait...girls don't do stuff like that.  

I have a son.  A brilliant, loud, energetic, funny, protective, chivalrous boy.  I will not permit society to vilify him for not having the characteristics of a girl.  Nor will I permit society to mock my daughter for being, and enjoying being, a girl who has very few boy characteristics.

My children are almost stereotypes of their gender.  They're happy.  They're healthy.  And they will be home schooled so that that doesn't change because someone thinks they should both be more androgynous.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Just wanted to mention again...

Tomorrow, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Survivors will be free on Kindle.

Why do I carry a gun?

This.  This is the reason.

Would that there had been one single person in the entry of Sandy Hook Elementary School yesterday with a gun, ready and willing to stop the little fucker that committed the atrocity.

(Via a link from TinCan Assassin--thanks, buddy.)


My right to own guns is what protects your right to scream for the government to take my guns.  The second amendment is what keeps all of the others from being abrogated.

And Mr. Foxx?  You are a racist hypocrite, but you may well have a good point.

People need to shut up for a while, and let the nation grieve the loss of the children in Connecticut. 

...and your little dog, too...

That seems to be the attitude of burglars, nowadays.  I think this is the second story I've read recently where people broke in and stole everything in the house of value, including the Christmas gifts under the tree and the family dog. 

Sometimes I actually like people.  But with the rising incidents like this, it's getting harder.

Not a woman

Transsexuals may be female between the ears.  They may get the gender reassignment surgery, hormone therapy, breast implants, and grow their hair out long.  They may look like women on the outside, but their basic body structure is male.  They have more physical strength, particularly in their upper body.

They are not women where it counts when it comes to women's sports.  They will outplay and outdo any real women. 

They are men.  If they can't hack it playing with the boys, they shouldn't take their ball and go play with the girls, no matter if they would have rather been one. 

Gabrielle Ludwig, I wish you the best in finding peace and happiness in your life.  But you shouldn't be permitted to play basketball with the other girls.  You're going to outdo them because you aren't one in the very fibers of your muscles. 

Goals for the week

1. Bathe the stinky puppy.

2. Finish clearing the table off in the kitchen; finish clearing the counter tops.  Install new, battery-operated LED light bars under cabinets for light to work by.

3. Finish switching out the pixie's new dresser with her chest of drawers (which is now mine--and needs moved).

4. Get all of the clean clothes put away.

5. (Writing goals on The Godshead Tavern blog).

6. Play with kids.  A lot.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Staying in the gun closet for a while longer...

My in-laws were horrified by the happenings yesterday.  My mother-in-law reported to me that my father-in-law, who I love and admire very much, spent much of the day in tears (he's lost two of his children, one to an aneurism, the other to gastric bypass surgery complications, both as adults with kids of their own). 

They both spent a lot of the visit today calling for more stringent gun control laws--which wouldn't have prevented the diseased little son of a bitch from murdering twenty six and seven year old children. 

(On the upside, both are now fully on board with my plans to home school--and my MIL was (and sort of still is, in attitude and actions) a teacher, and FIL was a school board member.)

See, the little fucker tried to buy a gun.  He was turned down.  So, he killed his mom, and used her guns. 

I'm betting that there were a lot of warning signs that this guy was going to snap.  Nobody did anything.  I'll bet anything that there was a long history of mental problems, along with "this guy is a major danger to himself and others" notes, that got sealed the second he turned eighteen.  I'll bet anything that he played first person shooter games almost exclusively.*

Sixty years ago, he'd have been forcibly committed because of his "disorders."  Then again, sixty years ago, Mom and Dad likely wouldn't have been divorced, and Mom would have likely been at home raising him, and teaching him that there are good behaviors and bad behaviors, and choosing bad behavior carries consequences.

If there need to be any new laws written, we need to write that every classroom must have its own emergency exit to the exterior from any given building, for fires or for creepy little fuckers with guns. 

Taking guns away from the law abiding only makes them easy prey.  Like the twenty children and seven adults shot yesterday were. 

*First person shooter games do not cause this kind of behavior, any more than having access to a gun causes this kind of behavior.  Those inclined to this kind of behavior tend to gravitate toward first person shooter games because it gives them a feeling of power, and gives them the idea that they're training for the real thing.

Long day...finally home.

The kids adore their grandparents.  Mostly because if it's possible, and won't harm the kids physically or through a suspension of discipline, the answer is "yes." 

Imp:  I need go to park.
Grandpa: Let me get the keys.
Imp: I need ice cream.
Grandma: Mom, can they have some?  (It's not too close to supper, and the pixie hasn't been eating well, so, sure.)

See, Grandma and Grandpa are retired.  Mom's always working.  Dad's either working, hurt or tired. 

Sometimes it makes me wish I didn't have to work, and could play with the kids all day (and had the energy to play with the kids all day).

Random ramblings

The imp got to go see the Christmas Train last week.  It was a fairly short wait in the cold, but we got there very early, and didn't stand in line for long.  When we got there, the line was perhaps fifteen yards long.  By the time we left, the line had stretched over fifty yards and into the parking lot.  (I'm sort of judging this by the distances at the range). 

There were maybe four cars set up.  The first one was all decorated with tinsel, glass decorations, and plastic icicles on the ceiling, and various Santa models.  The second car...oh, the second car.  It had two large, electric model trains set up.  As in, the engines were about eighteen inches long, and about six inches tall.  And were lit up.  And running pretty fast. 

Both kids loved it.  The imp, though, would have stood there all night if we hadn't been blocking foot traffic, and I hadn't kept him moving. 

The next cars were a disappointment (to him).  So were Santa and Mrs. Clause.  Though walking up to the train with the sleeper cars that had pulled the Christmas Train into town with Odysseus made the imp very happy, until he dropped his sucker--at which point, he had a great big sad.  Odysseus picked up the sucker and stuck it in his own mouth to clean the dirt off, then gave it back; however, by that point, the momentum had been set. 

The pixie enjoyed the train, but not nearly as much as she enjoyed the train-safety gift pack they handed out (a bright red plastic bag with handles containing the aforementioned sucker, a teeny-tiny candy bar piece--Snickers in hers, Milky Way in the imp's--a sort of Koosh-ball snowman, and a four-page coloring and activity book with a little box of four off-brand crayons). 

We did get pictures, and we will probably go back next year. 

The pup has spent a good amount of time outside, this week.  I've seen her tearing around her little pen enclosure like a crazy thing, just having fun.  It's been very cute.  She'll spend today out there, while we visit the in-laws (and leave the imp there until Monday), then will get to come in...and have a bath.  And when she does, we're going to have to adjust her harness larger. 
The kittens are growing so fast.  The larger one is already as big as the adult cat we lost to illness last May, and is still growing fast.  The smaller one isn't far behind.  And both kittens are about seven months old. 

I set some goals on Sunday of this week: clean up the kitchen, catch up the laundry, start making cookies, and finish knitting a vest (and finish the first draft editing/outline of my finished novel for beta reading).  In order, I've made progress, but the kitchen was a lot worse than I'd realized, and that's going to take another week to finish (pushing cookies down the line); laundry is done but for what we dirtied this week;  and all I have left is weaving in loose ends on the vest.  I'd have finished editing my book but for that awful migraine that hit me yesterday.  I should be able to finish that pretty easily this morning--I was only a few pages from done when I had to go to bed Thursday night. 

As for teaching...I turned my grades in on Wednesday, and won't be able to do much to revise my textbook until they actually install the stupid platform upgrades. 

I'll set some more goals tomorrow. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Free book coming up

I'm running a free book promotion for Survivors (linked over to the right), again, starting Monday and running through Wednesday.  I'll mention it a couple more times between now and the end of Wednesday. 

It's really different from The Godshead.  Where The Godshead is fun, with more than a bit of snark, Survivors, as a collection of stories, touches on the darker side of human interaction.  It's what I wrote in college, while I was dealing with recovering from childhood abuse (not that anyone ever completely recovers, but I like to think I'm doing better than some).  Some of the stories deal with the loss of a loved one (one to Alzheimer's--I lost my grandmother to that horrible disease some ten years before she actually died), some deal with the aftermath of abuse.  Some deal with abandonment.  Very few are particularly happy stories--I like to think most are good, regardless.

There have been a couple of reviews written on other blogs.  They're linked up in a tab at the top of the main page.

What have you got to lose?  It's free.

Somebody shoot the little man with the icepick.

I woke up with a sinus headache this morning, took some pseudo-Sudafed (the PE stuff that barely works), and it started to fade.  It came roaring back with a vengence at about two this afternoon, only then, it wasn't a sinus headache but a migraine.

And, of course, the kids were in a screechy playful mood all afternoon.

I'm gonna go soak my head in a hot bath.  I may down some coffee, now that the nausea has subsided, in the hopes I can kill the headache.  

Does anyone else need any other reason why home schooling is the best option?

Because there are more than two dozen more reasons, despite upgraded security, in Newton today.

And, to cut the Brady bunch off at the pass, if the bastard hadn't had a gun, he'd have just used a knife.

My kids have two armed guards, when Odysseus and I are both home.  No way am I sending them somewhere where those who would protect them are forcibly made helpless.

Pardon my language...

I just read the President's response to the shooting at the elementary school, where the President started dancing in the blood of those murdered to try to wipe his ass with the Constitution.  Again. 

It's about to get foul.

Oh, hell no.

Do you know what a mirror is, you rancid bitch?  Obviously, you don't--otherwise, you'd realize that's what you were looking in when you were making your claims and pointing your finger about the last election.  Yeah, there was lying, unprecedented spending on campaigning, and voter suppression.  But very little of it was done by Republicans, other than the promises that they'd undo what your idiot has done.

Now, that's racist.

So what if the guy's got a white fiance, and may vote Republican?  How is it not racist to call this guy names because he doesn't march in lock-step with other black people?

My definition of racism is bringing up race where it's not relevant.  And most of the time, that's done by black people, and Hispanics.  Nobody else cares.

FFOT: urgh...

My son's absolute inability to sleep past seven a.m., no matter how late I permit him to stay up, can FTFO.  So can his inclinations to go looking for his sister, and wake her up for company. 

I was awakened this morning by the wails of a strongly unhappy little girl who really wasn't ready to wake up.  She's in the sleepy part of a growth spurt.  I bet that, if she could, wasn't asleep again, and had the terminology (and if Mama wouldn't wash her mouth out with soap), she'd tell her brother to FTFO.

I sympathize.  I wasn't ready to get up, either.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Been busy, today.

I've gotten another large chunk of my finished first draft of the next novel I plan to publish edited.  I've got most of it done, despite taking yesterday off to go Christmas shopping for the kids (after dropping them on my mom for the day).  I should be able to finish tomorrow without much problem. 

Then?  It'll be ready for beta readers.  Saturday sound good, guys?  I'm pretty sure I can get it into your inboxes late tomorrow night.

An illustration of the utility of burglar alarms...

There is exactly none.  As has been demonstrated in Westchester County, New York, all it takes is a bit of organization, focus, and a complete willingness to ignore the burglar alarm during a smash-and-grab.   

It's interesting that you don't often hear of similar burglaries in flyover country, where the residents are armed, and might be home. 

Here's another good place to cut spending.

I found a place where the government can cut a bit over a trillion dollars out of the budget and prevent hyperinflation: kill the QE 3 and QE 4. 

QE3 authorizes the use of $40 Billion per month to buy up  junk long-term government bonds.  QE4 (announced yesterday) adds another $45 Billion per month to the original figure.  That's $85B/month, or $1.02 Trillion per year. 

So, to reiterate, we can halve deficit spending by stopping printing money we don't have to buy debts we can't pay off, boot most of the worthless bums off of welfare spending of all types, and scrap 0bamacare. 

I've got other ideas, but don't have the time or credibility to explain them.

Oh, hooray.

On the one hand, they're getting an updated package from the developer of the distance learning platform.  That means that the updated browsers won't kill the platform (the last browser that our current packing is compatible with is IE7.  IE8 works in a pinch, but recent versions of Firefox and IE9 crash it).

On the other...I'm going to have to completely re-do the first chapter of my textbooks, because the whole damn platform is going to be changing around in how it looks and how it works.

Detroit as a picture of our future.

It's not pretty.  It's nearly bankrupt, paying out $47 million more than it takes in, including $1.08 in retirement benefits for every $1.00 in salary to those still working.  Almost half of those of an age to work don't work, and aren't looking for work.  More than ten percent of those working have government jobs--and when they retire, they'll be sucking down even more of the city's non-existent resources. 

Out of Detroit's children, seven percent score as proficient or better in reading, and far fewer (4%) are proficient in math.  Compare that to Michigan's 32% proficient in reading and 31% in math.  It's not surprising, given how many teachers are union thugs that only want the paycheck and the benefits, and don't give a shit about the rest of the job (as demonstrated by how many skipped work to try to prevent the passage of laws removing some of the power wielded by the unions).

The people  of Detroit aren't in any better shape: many are desperate and amoral enough to resort to grave robbing.

This is what the rest of us are looking at if the socialist agenda isn't stopped.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sore throat remedy

For years, what I've been doing for a sore throat has been either Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger Tea* with a generous dollop of honey, or a tablespoon of RealLemon per eight ounces of hot water with a generous dollop of honey.  It's soothing, but doesn't really do much beyond that.

I found something that works better (for adults only). 

Take about 1 T RealLemon, 1 T honey, and 1 T honey whiskey, and mix it in a good-sized mug (11 or 12 oz).  Add hot water until the mug is full.  Stir.  Drink.

It works better than tea or lemon juice with either straight honey or straight honey whiskey.  You need both for it to work best.

Best thing?  The sore throat is not nearly as bad the next day, unlike the tea or lemon with honey or whiskey (where the sore throat is back, full force, as soon as you're done with your mug).  If I realize I'm catching a cold before it's really set in, the lemon/honey/honey whiskey blend will knock it out to the point where I don't get sick. 

Weird, huh?

*I'm looking for a replacement for Celestial Seasonings in all of the tea we drink.  I refuse to fund leftist hippie environmentalists. 

Yay!! Part 2

I got a review on The Godshead!!!  And it's a good one!!!

Thanks, Greg!


I'm done with entering grades!  So long school stuff--I'm done until 1/14/13. 


A woman was murdered just outside a gun-free zone in a gun-free city (NYC).  She'd stepped outside of the hospital where she was sitting with a young daughter who'd had a very bad asthma attack, and was shot.

It doesn't matter that she was likely a woman on welfare--she was trying her damnedest to get out of that trap.  It doesn't matter that she wasn't married to the father of two of her children--they'd been together for almost as long as I've been with my husband. 

What matters is that she was defenseless when she shouldn't have been.  Gun free zones = target rich environments.  Criminals never obey the rules.

I'm beginning to think that no one should obey gun laws, nor pay attention to "No Weapons Allowed" signs.

I'm not feeling hopeful...

Yeah, the Supreme Court told Illinois to go get stuffed where their "concealed carry is illegal, no matter what," laws are concerned.  They've got 120 days to figure out legislation that keeps their state concealed-carry free, no matter what the Supreme Court says. 

This is, after all, the state that contains Chicago.  I don't remember the last time they gave the nation something that wasn't crime, union thugs, or politicians--but then again, I repeat myself.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I suppose that does explain it...somewhat.

Just read a bit more about the thirteen and fourteen year old boys that shot and killed a woman in Pennsylvania.  Apparently, they'd been trying to bum a cigarette from her boyfriend, she walked up and not only told them no, told them to get a job and buy their own. 

One would think that would be an obvious solution.  One would be wrong.  The kids are pretty obviously mal-adjusted minorities that probably come from a home with only a mother, and have never had someone teach them right from wrong. 

They are not human.  By their actions, they are nothing but animals, and like similar beasts that have learned a taste for murder, they need to be locked up.  And their mothers need to be locked up for not teaching them how the rules that permit something resembling civilization to function work.  If not that, then the boys need to be put down like rabid animals or man eating predators are.

Personally, I think the latter would be a better solution.  The personality is pretty set by fourteen.  They're never going to become better people than what they currently are, especially not in modern society.

All guns should be confiscated!!1!11!!!

Because guns are what kill people, right? 


If you want to spout a conspiracy theory... least pick one that has a snowball's chance in hell of being possible.  Putting poison or disease in the food and water most likely to be eaten and drunk by blacks isn't likely.  Putting Planned Parenthood's abortion clinics in primarily black neighborhoods to abort black babies, on the other hand...

Farrakhan is right in substance: certain segments of the white population are working scientifically to kill blacks.  They just aren't doing it the way he thinks they are.

Oh, great.

Four years ago, when the imp was born, we had a $3,000 deductible on our health insurance.  We spent under $300/month for health insurance for Odysseus, the imp (newly arrived), and me. 

Then 0bamacare passed.  And our rates instantly jumped by $40.  And then, they jumped again about four months later, by another $20.  And they kept creeping up, especially after we'd had the pixie and added her to our health insurance.  So, not long after her birth, we increased our deductible to $5,000, bringing it back down into affordability. 

Then, more of the fees for 0bamacare came online, making it jump by $50.  Twice.  Suddenly, we were again paying nearly $400/month--almost half of my income from teaching.  So, we went in, and increased our deductible again, to $10,000, which brought our cost back down to just under $300/month. 

Now this.  We're going to be slapped with a further hike of $63/month to cover people with pre-existing conditions that can't be arsed to put off their purchase of an iPhone so that they can buy coverage for themselves.  This is going to boost our monthly health insurance cost back up to nearly $350/month. 

I don't want to pay for other people's problems.  I don't want other people to pay for mine.  I want the government to stop taking my money at gunpoint to give to worthless pieces of shit that can't budget their own fucking money.

Good thing for that particular student...

One of my students turned in their second paper three days late, then got angry that I didn't accept it, and gave them a 0. 

(It's clearly stated, both in the textbook and the syllabus, that I don't accept late work.  At all.)

Because they were doing so badly, I told them to turn their supposed-to-have-been-finished-and-forgotten paper during the last week of classes, when the rest were turning in revisions.  Just because I can be nice like that at the end of semester, when I'm going to be getting them out of my hair. 

They turned in a paper that referenced things that have happened within the last two weeks.  And they turned it in...late.  As in: the last day I was accepting work was last Friday, and the student turned  it in yesterday. 

I replied to the student that the last day I was accepting work was Friday, and they emailed me back, begging me to take the paper (which they claimed to think I would accept up until today), because they just couldn't get a single D--they'd lose their financial aid!!!!

As a side note, a single D shouldn't lose a student their financial aid.  I assume my class wasn't the only one this student half-assed.  I'd be willing to bet the student slacked off on everything, assumed the instructors would act like high-school teachers and take late work, then realized that there were going to be consequences for their poor decisions, and panicked. 

I wound up reading the paper, and then wound up copying and pasting various sentences into Bing to check them.  And found out the whole thing was plagiarized.

That student is lucky they turned in that paper so late.  If they'd turned it in last week, they wouldn't have a D for the class, they'd have an F, and they'd have a report of it on file with the Dean of Students.

If that student protests further, they'll have to face those consequences anyway.  Because I am fucking tired of the entitlement mentality that prompts students to assume that we'll take work whenever they feel like doing it and handing it in.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Amen to that.

Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, really nails it: "I don't care what the majority voted to do, they don't have a right to steal my money just because they vote for it."

Where are the parents?

You've got fourteen year old boys (more than likely in a single-parent household, being raised by a mother who has no idea who their fathers are) killing a woman, then posting pictures of themselves with the murder weapon(s).  You've got an eleven- and a seven-year-old mugging another woman at gunpoint, then attempting to carjack her.

The parents in both cases have failed so badly it makes me sick.  Somebody's going to wind up killing those kids out of self-defense in the next five years, just as "they were really starting to turn their life around."

What is it about modern parents?  Why the fuck are so many refusing to raise their kids?  Why are so many trying to be their kids' friends instead of their parents?

And why is no one teaching these kids right from wrong, and that wrong decisions carry consequences?


I am holding a hard copy of The Godshead (linked over at the right) as I write.  It looks really nice--the cover is a glossy, not matte, black, and the paper between the covers is good quality. 

I'm pretty happy with it.  I'll be putting about five copies in two of our local book stores, with the rest sitting in the trunk for opportunity's sake. 

It is bloody cold, today.

Time for lined jeans to walk the dog, and chili for lunch. 

We cannot afford this.

I just finished reading a couple articles that clearly identifies how badly hosed we are.  The first one clearly states that the federal government borrows almost half of what it spends: 46 cents out of every dollar are borrowed.  The second article illuminates a good portion of why.   I've bolded the really scary parts.
For fiscal year 2011, CRS identified roughly 80 overlapping federal means-tested welfare programs that together represented the single largest budget item in 2011—more than the nation spends on Social Security, Medicare, or national defense. The total amount spent on these federal programs, when taken together with approximately $280 billion in state contributions, amounted to roughly $1 trillion. Nearly 95 percent of these costs come from four categories of spending: medical assistance, cash assistance, food assistance, and social/housing assistance. Under the President’s FY13 budget proposal, means-tested spending would increase an additional 30 percent over the next four years.
The chart attached to the article that quoted the senator's office had worse welfare spending is about $168 per day per household, as compared to earnings of $137 per day in a median income home.  Broken down further, that's
$30.60 per hour, 40 hours per week, to each household living below poverty. The median household hourly wage is $25.03. After accounting for federal taxes, the median hourly wage drops to between $21.50 and $23.45, depending on a household’s deductions and filing status. State and local taxes further reduce the median household’s hourly earnings. By contrast, welfare benefits are not taxed. 
Odysseus makes a hair above minimum wage, bringing home about $700/month for part time work.  I make a bit under $900/month.   That divides up to about $53 per day.  After taxes. 

I am angry beyond words.  I resent, badly resent, my tax money being taken for bums and niggers of all colors who refuse to work.  I resent, badly resent, my tax money being taken to pay baby factories to keep spreading their legs for all comers. 

And I strongly resent that the money I work hard for to shelter, feed, and clothe my children is being taken from me at gunpoint and given to someone else, someone who isn't working, because it's their "fair share."

Um, no.  If you don't work, your fair share is $0.  Your fair share is starvation. 

$1 trillion dollars cut from the budget is a start.  I've seen figures that 0bamacare is going to cost somewhere upwards of $8 trillion to implement in year one.  It goes up after that. 

We are more than $16 trillion in the hole.  We need to cut the bums off. 

Before people start whinging about how heartless I am, let me remind you, I am not talking about cutting people of of Social Security, or VA Benefits.  Those people have earned what they are getting, many the hard way.   I am not talking about those who are physically unable to work through damaging their backs, or through conditions like cerebral palsy or fibromyalgia or cancer.  I am not talking about people with serious psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia, or multiple personality disorder, or untreated bipolar disorder.

I am talking about the young men who refuse to get a job that's "beneath" their dignity.  I am talking about the young women who have baby after baby after baby, with no man anywhere in the picture, just so that she can get more benefits.  I am talking about those who apply for, and get, disability when the only disability present is a disability to make anything other than bad choices ("I'm too fat to stand up," or "I have PTSD from repetitive abusive relationships," or the like). 

And I think that, if the government would cut such spending, they'd find that most of the people they were so concerned about can make it just fine, when there's no other choice.  And as for the rest?  They'd find that we, the people, are a lot more generous helping people out when they really need it, and when we have the choice.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Goals for the week...

I've started posting out my writing goals over at the other blog (I'll be posting those on Sundays through the month I'm off teaching), but it occurred to me that, while I don't post much about writing over here, I could, and perhaps should post about other goals.  I'll probably add a "goals met" part to my Saturday random ramblings posts.

So, here goes:

1. Get the kitchen cleaned up.  I've really slacked during the heaviest part of getting the semester's grading done, and I can't see the top of the table.

2. Get laundry caught up.  I got it almost done last week, but ran out of time before revisions started coming in.  I've got maybe three more loads--I got eight done last week.  Last part of that is get the clean stuff put away (I've got the kids' clean clothes put up, but not mine or Odysseus's). 

3. Start making cookies.  Lots of cookies.  I'm going to hand them out as Christmas presents to friends. 

4. Finish knitting the vest I started.  A couple of months ago, I saw a vest at Wal-Mart that I liked the design of, but hated the color (honest-to-God shit brown--kind of brown with a green tinge), the stitch (a honeycomb cable--which would catch crumbs, little fingers, and kitty and dog claws), and couldn't find one to fit me anyway (smallest size was a 2X--and I'm a medium, mostly because of the tits). 

So, what kind of goals does anyone else tend to set for themselves?  Or do you set goals for yourselves?  

Bad dog.

It's cold enough, and damp enough to give me an earache despite having a hood.  So, of course, the pup decides she wants to go outside, but doesn't actually need to do any business. 

She's in her crate.  And I'm contemplating a nice, big bowl of leftover potato soup to deal with the earache as much as the empty stomach.

Small things...

I haven't really been able to listen to music much, lately.  The kids are usually either too busy screaming for me to hear it, or watching Tom & Jerry, or PBS morning cartoon programming.  I haven't had a pair of headphones since a mouse chewed the cord in two about four inches from the plug.

Three nights ago, I found a much older set of headphones.  They still work--work well, actually--but are old enough that the foam covers have disintegrated. 

But having headphones means I can listen to music for the rest of the afternoon, even while the kids are watching their stuff.

That makes me happy.

Even better?  That nagging headache is gone.


Three more sales, last night!  I've sold eight Kindle copies of The Godshead!

I'll be getting a box of hard copies in on Monday for distribution to a couple of small, local bookstores.  I'm kind of looking forward to that. 

You'd think I'd feel better...

I slept 'til 9:30 this morning.  Odysseus got up with the imp--the pixie slept 'til nine. 

You'd think I'd feel better, would have more patience and understanding.  I thought I'd feel better, and have more patience and understanding for a little boy that was so full of energy he literally can't sit still, and can't go outside to play.

I was wrong. 

Then again, the imp has been eating the pixie's breakfast, trying to sneak off and drink her chocolate milk, shoving her over, hitting her with toys, and generally being a mean little shit. 

And I've been up for a little over two hours, and am flat out of patience with him.

It's not helped by the sinus headache from hell that just won't go away.

It's time for comfort food: potatoes, onions, and green bell peppers fried in bacon grease, and sweet cornbread. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Such a cute little pixie.

Odysseus's aunt gave the pixie ten dollars in her birthday card.  So, when we took the imp to pick out a new train for two weeks of dry underwear, we took the pixie to get her something.  I asked her before we left if she wanted a new baby or a new dress, and she said "baby!  Want baby, please?"

Well, she changed her mind.  She saw this and wanted it.  It's in bed with her, her Pooh Bear, her plush frog, and her owl pillow.  Under her princess blanket.

I'm really proud of the imp, too.  Two weeks without an accident in his underwear.  Two more weeks, and he gets a new set of rails.

Hot damn!

I just finished grading blogs for both classes for week 16.  I have graded all of the revisions that have been turned in to me.

I am done.  The last thing I will need to do for the semester will be to download copies of my gradebooks, send copies to my department's secretary, and enter the grades in the system.  I plan to do that on Wednesday morning. 

Spring semester begins January 14.  A little earlier than usual--only four weeks off, instead of the usual five or six--but it ends May 3.  That, not counting Spring Break, is 15 weeks. 

But for now?  I'm done.

Thank God.

Uh...what? takes a special kind of stupid to call the cops to complain that the hooker you hired shorted you ten minutes.  It's not going to be the woman that's arrested first. 

random ramblings

I'd like to start out by thanking all five of you that bought a copy of The Godshead on Kindle.  Thanks to person number five, I'll be getting a ten dollar paycheck in two months.

Tuesday was the pixie's second birthday.  We took her to Grandma and Grandpa's house, and she had a blast.  She was an incredibly good girl, all day (though she ate mostly frosting, not cake--thought it was ice cream), especially considering how much her mouth hurts with cutting the last four molars.  She got an owl pillow (a pink, fuzzy plushy thing) from us, and a baby and a purse with a plushy Scotty dog from Grandma and Grandpa. 

The imp has been a boy.  Sweet and loving and annoying and obnoxious by turns.  Occasionally, he manages to be all at once.  Since the pixie has been having trouble with her ears (with cutting those last teeth making her gums and surrounding areas tender and swollen), I haven't been able to have him outside much.  I'd ask  Odysseus to help, but he's still in a goodly amount of pain from the hip he strained when he fell at work. 

And now, the weather's absolutely crappy.  Yesterday, we had a cloud practically sitting on us--no rain, but a constant mist that kept everything drippy and wet.  It's not looking any better this morning.

He needs activity, and I can't provide the opportunity.

I wish we had a finished basement room.  I'd love to be able to boot the imp downstairs to run and screech and bounce off walls.

I also wish that the kittens weren't such goobers, so that we could let them stay in the main parts of the house overnight.  Last night, after the third time Cricket (the black and white probably half Siamese kitten) tried to climb the pixie's door facing, I put her back into the back room where the pup has her crate.  Shadow (the black, slightly less crazy, little less Siamese-blooded kitten) decided to follow.  About an hour after that, I was sitting and typing up an outline for another book idea, and caught a little bit of motion out of the corner of my eye.  I glanced up...and there was a mouse washing its face in the middle of the living room floor. 

Had either of the kittens been out, that mouse would have been toast.

The pup's probably going to be about as miserable as the imp, today.  The weather's going to be way too bad for her to spend any time outside. 

I have the blogs that were due yesterday (and any make-ups that a couple of my students did), and one more revised paper to grade.  Then I'm done until mid-January. 

Thank God

I am so tired of grading crap.  I'd be tempted to scrap the blogging out of my classes, but the time that saves is more than taken back by grading papers that are far worse than the ones I've been getting.  The constant practice writing (and writing for people whose opinions they care about--peers, not teachers) really boosts their skills.

If anyone wants further discourse on it, you can check The Godshead Tavern blog.  I've been writing about writing over there so that I don't bore you guys over here.  But today, I wrote about teaching, and how the grading impacts everything else.

Friday, December 7, 2012

They don't make speakers like this anymore.

The skilled rhetoricians of the past seem to be a thing of the past. 

Don't believe me?  Go listen.  Read the transcript.  Then tell me when in the past twenty years we've had someone speak like that. 

I wish Pearl Harbor had lived on in infamy.  But in a nation that's already forgotten September 11, 2001, I doubt that there are many who understand the significance of today's date. 

Last bit of begging...

Like I said, I feel kind of like I'm spamming you guys with all the self-promotion of my new book.  I won't mention it again on this blog after today, but if you're looking for something that the fantasy reader/mythology fan in your life might like for Christmas, get them a copy of The Godshead.  It's linked over at the right in Kindle version (top link), or paperback (bottom link). 

I'm really proud of that book, and had a blast writing it.  I hope y'all have a blast reading at least the sample chapters (Kindle version has more).

Bell ringers

Yesterday, we all went to Sam's Club.  There was a Salvation Army bell ringer right outside the exit.  He had white hair and a full, white beard, and a good-sized gut.  And glasses.  He looked like Santa Clause.  Played with the kids for a couple of minutes (and quietly called the imp a "cute little shit"--which he is, but Santa?  Don't say that where a four-year-old can hear you.), and then thanked us for letting him play with them, and wished us a Merry Christmas. 

I think he was the highlight of the kids' day. 

And UC Berkley's student government would like to boot Salvation Army volunteers from campus because "Allowing the Salvation Army to collect donations on campus is a form of financial assistance that empowers the organization to spend the money it raises here in order to discriminate and advocate discrimination against queer people." 

Okay, fine.  But if UC Berkley can ban Salvation Army bell ringers from campus, it's only fair that the Salvation Army ban those who carry a Student ID from UC Berkley from shopping at their second-hand shops. 


Things like this ought to happen more often.  I mean, if a burglar learns that there's a good chance that he'll be held at gunpoint at best, or shot and possibly killed, don't you think that there's a good chance that he'll find a different profession?

The funniest part of that particular news story is that 911 was called at pretty much the same time by both the perpetrator and the victim of the crime that had been in progress. 

Parents: get your kids out of public school

Any parent that lives in a large city with their kids are abusive.  They're endangering their children's physical and mental/emotional well-being, and for what?  A shorter commute?  Access to a downtown?  Selfish reasons, both.  And Chicago is worse than many others. 

Any parent that leaves their kids in public schools--especially when that child is mentally or physically disabled--is borderline abusive.  I understand that sometimes a parent makes a choice that state-funded programs to support the disability are more important than the possibility of their teen son being strip-searched by his female vice-principal, but is that really true? 

In reality, public schools are doing a very bad job with educating children.  They love disabled kids, because they bring in more money from the federal government, but it's in their best interests to do as little as possible to help them: services and accommodations are expensive, and eat up those extra dollars. 

Parents, get out of the cities, and start home schooling your children.  You and your wants don't matter anymore, and haven't since you had a child.  What's convenient for you is not what's best for them. 

And what's best for your children is what matters--or at least, it should be.

FFOT: fear of food, food nannies, or whatever you want to call it

I recently bought a new small bag of decaf coffee.  It's some of the better flavored decaf I've ever had, so no complaints, there.

It's Churchill brand coffee, and the flavor is "sinless pastry."

Sinless.  Pastry.  Like eating a pastry, one with calories, is a sin.  Not just no, but fuck no.  It is not a fucking sin to eat a fucking treat once in a fucking while.  It isn't really a sin to eat boxes of them because a person doesn't know better, never grew past the "I'm a grownup, now, and can eat what I want, and nobody can tell me any different" stage, or because that's what they can afford for breakfast (have you seen the cost of basic, off-brand cereal, lately?). 

It's not a sin to eat.  Not even if a person weighs roughly half as much as a killer whale, and has to get around on a scooter. 

And I am so fucking sick of society trying to make me feel guilty for fucking enjoying my food.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

One of those days...

Both kids decided that today was a perfect day to act up.  All.  Day.  Long.  The only times they behaved themselves were at Sam's Club, and while they were down for their naps.

I am going to have a glass of bourbon, and read a book in bed after they go to bed. 

There's about ten more minutes for the pixie, and an hour or so for the imp. 

Why, no, I'm not counting down the minutes.  What makes you think that?

(Do me a favor and go check out The Godshead on Kindle.  Click on the "look inside" function.  Read the sample chapters, and tell me what you think in the comments.  Buy it if you like it.  If you've already bought it, leave me a review.)


Guy gets robbed twice.  Gets sick of getting his stuff stolen--stuff he'd worked hard to be able to buy--and rigs himself a smart security system

Guy gets robbed a third time, but this time, his security system calls his cell phone, he calls the cops, and the cops catch the thief.

I wish I had the kind of skill that would let me rig a system like that.  That is sheer cool.


I am glad to see that we're not so hardened as a society that something like a nearly-dead baby in a garbage bag still has a powerful effect on people. 

(Best yet, the baby's going to be okay.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

If anyone's interested...

There's a new story up over at The Godshead Tavern.

I have a possible solution, here...

A Chicago cop shot a puppy that wasn't threatening him.  Pup survived, but is in for a long convelescense.

Other cops have been trying to cover the department's ass: they went back three days later and wrote the homeowner a ticket for the puppy not being leashed.  You know, the puppy that had been in the house, and followed his owner outside when the owner went to see why the cop was writing a parking ticket, just before the cop shot the puppy.

 I have an idea.  Since the puppy can't really be handed a gun to shoot the cop, how about we let the puppy's owner have two shots at the cop?  Let's gut-shoot the creep that shot a puppy a couple of times, and see how comfortable his recovery is.

I don't think the thugs with badges will learn to be responsible with their granted authority without painful lessons on what happens when they're not. 

Honestly don't know how to react, here.

On the one hand, I love the judge's order that the deadbeat babydaddy stop procreating.

On the other...that's the executive judicial branch of government (thanks, Odysseus) poking its nose into a private individual's life and personal decisions. 

I don't know which I want to support: blocking babymaking by an individual who's proved to be an inferior provider to his children (making us pick up the tab), or the libertarian side that says it's not the government's business.

I feel like I'm spamming you guys...

Since this is the first full week The Godshead (linked over at the right in paperback and Kindle version--which is cheaper, has more sample chapters up, and I get a bigger cut of) has been available, and I really would like this book to be a bit more successful than Survivors was/is, I'm going to mention it again.

From the author's note at the end:
This bunch of stories started with me dreaming part of the first story. I woke up laughing, and had to write the two idiots arguing over who was the better king of the gods. From that idea grew this book.

Oh, not all at once. But it did come pretty quickly, for me. Every so often, I’d have a few minutes, and another character would start whispering in my ear, each with their own specific voice, and
their own story. I wrote them all. And then I compiled them.

Then, I realized that there was an actual plot. And most of the stories had a connection to that plot. How strange. I’d written a novel, sort of.

So, I went back through, took out a few stories, and tweaked others to more closely connect them to the plot.

If you've been looking for a little light reading that combines aspects of comedy, drama, modern life, and mythology, you might like it. 

If we needed any more proof...

The GOP has moved completely away from American concerns.  Boehner has kicked fiscal conservatives off of the House budget committee

Okay, stupid.  Do that.  Marginalize your party further.  Piss off the voters, and watch the GOP move further into irrelevance.  Watch a party that actually listens to its constituents take your place.

(For all I disagree strongly with the Democrat party, I do have to admit that they listen to their constituents' demands for more stuff paid for by other people.)


And your vote was bought for nothing but political promises.  We all know (or should, at least) the value of those

Last, but not least...where the fuck do you think that "bacon" comes from?  0bama's private stash?  He doesn't have one, honey, not big enough for all of the promises he made, and he wouldn't share it if he did.  That "bacon" you're demanding comes from the still-productive minority in your city, and the near-minority of the rest of the nation.  There aren't enough of those producing to pay for the leeches. 

Leeches like you and your city.

But...but...I thought the gun control laws in Detroit would prevent this!!!

I mean, haven't they disarmed most law abiding citizens, like most large cities have done?  How is it possible that criminals not only have guns, but assault rifles?  How is it possible for a group of thugs to be able to rob gas stations with AK-47s

Actually, it's simple: when guns are made criminal, only criminals will have guns.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Completely awesome.

I mentioned, the other day, that I was starting to read Jim Butcher's Cold Days.  Well, I read half of it the first night, then finished it the second.  It rocked

If you're looking for a new series of books to get into, and you like modern fantasy--the main character is a honest-to-God wizard for hire in Chicago--I strongly recommend Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden books.  I've got an Amazon link to the first book (there are currently fourteen in the series) over to the right, under my blog list. 

The first book is Storm Front--Dresden goes up against bad guys that do murder from a distance by using the power in thunderstorms to explode their victims' hearts from a distance.  Dresden himself is an awesome character: likable and snarky, with a desperate need to do right and help people.  His sidekick, Bob, is an air elemental that shelters in a skull (and is a major pervert, and a hell of a lot bigger of a smartass than Dresden). 

Seriously, if you're interested in gritty, realistic (sort of) detective stories, as well as urban fantasy, and you haven't run across the Dresden Files, you need to give them a try.


Been home for about three hours, now.  Been running around getting kids taken care of for about two and a half of that--suppers, baths, put pajamas on kids fighting it, fixing and eating our suppers, and putting kids to bed--but both are finally in bed now.  It's been a long day, the pixie made out like a bandit, and I'm going to drink a full 32 oz sports bottle of water in hopes of settling my  stomach enough to have a solid drink before going to bed. 

It's not the color, it's the culture, stupid.

An MSNBC host has showed her racist ass, recently.  She took a shooting that happened in Florida, and put a racist spin on it, lamenting that with white racism causing problems for young black men, "this is no country for young black men."

Bullshit, you racist bitch. 

What happened was a middle aged white guy getting gas asked an SUV full of thug wannabes to turn down their stereo.  They refused, things escalated, and he (quite reasonably, given the circumstances) thought he saw a shotgun being raised in the back seat.  So, he pulled his gun, and defended himself.

It isn't that these kids were black that caused the problem, it was the situation, and the culture that encouraged the teenagers to get belligerent; skin color doesn't act, culture does.

And a lot of Americans are getting bloody sick of tip-toeing around the thug culture because they're afraid of being labeled a racist.  We're getting called racist so often that we're beginning to not care anymore.

And the thugs are going to learn a harsh lesson: that the only places they'll be safe are the inner cities where leftist mayors disarm their populations, and Illinois.

Makes me glad I don't text.

I barely use a cell phone at all.  I don't care to be constantly tethered to work/family/friends.  I do not do the whole text messaging thing.  I don't like the way the abbreviations have crept into formal writing, and grade those little bits of textspeak very harshly. 

I also refuse to do it.

Not for fear that it'll make me a lazy writer.  Because I hate it with a bloody purple passion.

I'm even more glad that I don't, now that law enforcement is clamoring to force cell phone companies store such data for each customer for at least two years, "just in case." 

That's just creepy.

Happy birthday, little pixie.

You're two years old, now, and starting to develop  skills that will keep your rear end a little sore up until you're a teen.  That little selective hearing skill you have is incredibly annoying.  I really hate yelling at you. 

But you're such a good little helper so much of the time--you pick up blocks when it's time to go to bed, you take trash into the kitchen to be thrown away, and you take your empty chocolate milk cups in and put them in the sink when you're done.  You pick up your clothes and put them away in your drawers (though I wish you wouldn't do that with the dirty ones).  You put your baby dolls to bed in their cradle, instead of leaving them all over the floor for me to step on in the middle of the night when I go in to cover you back up--now all we have to do is figure out something for you to be able to do the same with your stuffed animals.

And you're so funny.  You're still so delighted by the world, and you're so surprised when something doesn't work the way you thought it would.  And you laugh at yourself.  I've seen you do deliberately silly things just so you can laugh at yourself. 

I promise you that I will do my best to help you grow up into an adult that can still laugh at herself. 

You're two years old, and there's so much out there to learn.  So much you've already learned.  Such a big girl, and it's happened so fast. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

I forgot to mention...

If you are a subscriber to Amazon Prime (their free shipping for a certain dollar amount per year) and have a Kindle, there are some books you can download for free.  I think it's something like one book per month.

Well, both Survivors and The Godshead are in that program.  So, if you'd like to see what my writing is like, but don't want to pay for it, you can download it for free through Amazon Prime. You get to read a new book for free, and I get paid for it--win-win!

The books are two very different entities, with very different tones.  There are a couple of reviews of Survivors on a couple of other blogs (I've linked the ones I've seen in a separate page--the tab's up top).  There are sample stories (some from the same world, some not) over at The Godshead Tavern, if you just want a sample of my writing style.

Overheard in the imp's room...

Me: Do you know what we're going to do tomorrow?
Imp: Go get baby dragon!!!
Me: (choking back laughter) No, son, we're going to go see Grandma and Grandpa for the pixie's birthday.
Imp:  Yay!  That's okay, too!!! (clap clap clap--very quietly, so he doesn't wake the pixie and get his butt beat)
Me: (choking back more laughter)  Goodnight, son.

A couple of weeks ago, we got the kids a few Christmas movies, including the Dreamworks Dragons: Riders of Berk "Gift of the Night Fury."  Which involves baby dragons.  Baby dragons hatching.  It's really cute.  And really funny.  

You see, the eggs explode.  And one of the characters thought it would be a brilliant idea to leave the eggs in everyone's house as a pseudo-Christmas gift. 


Laundry is half done.  Four loads, with another two to go.  I'd have gotten at least one more load in by now, but I didn't hear the dryer buzzer go off with the first load, largely because it had been turned off

The kitchen is much better, too.  I put the last of Odysseus's Monster energy drinks (he prefers the iced tea lemonade flavor) in the fridge from the flat of them on the floor.

I'm well on the way to having the back room cleared out enough to use as a pantry for my canned goods.

I'm putting together another Sam's Club list.  My sister has asked for a bag of sugar--a ten pound bag of sugar from Sam's costs about a dollar more than the slightly-under-five pound bags at Wal-Mart.  I just wish I had storage for one of the 25 pound bags--that sucker is under $15.  I'm planning on getting another bag of flour: winter = baking weather.  I'm in the mood to get stocked up to make cookies.  I may get some jars for jar cakes.  It'd be nice to have baked goodies during the summer without  having to turn on the oven.

I'm beat.  But I feel like I accomplished something, today, beyond keeping myself from obsessively checking on my sales figures on The Godshead.

...and in other news, water is wet.

Experts have suggested that it's possible that the overuse of smartphones might damage interpersonal relationships, and cause interpersonal skills to atrophy.

Wow.  Who'd have thought?

Cheap bastards...

I mean, gun buyback programs that offer cash for guns are bad enough--they rarely hand over cash equal to the value of the gun.  And then they destroy the gun, no matter what it is, despite the funds that could be raised for the local police departments by selling the guns to those who are legal to own them. 

I guess the cash is better than just having the guns seized, like what the Brady bunch would really like to do.  It would still be better to pay fair market value, like the Constitution requires in cases of eminent domain.  I think the most I've ever heard of a gun buyback program offering is $200/gun--more than what a Hi-Point is worth, but far less than what a lot of collectibles and/or modern polymer pieces cost.  And most programs pay a bit less than that.

But really: a gift certificate for less than a hundred dollars, and a free flu shot that would cost very little at the county health department or $25 at Walgreens?  That's cheap. 

Busy day... less than a third done.  I've got most of it back in the laundry room, though.  I'll be working through that pile for the rest of today, and probably most of Wednesday.  (Tomorrow is the pixie's 2nd birthday, and we'll be going up to Grandma and Grandpa's.)

Dishes...clean ones are unloaded and put away.  The dirty ones are half loaded.  After that's done, I've got three pieces of cast iron to clean (a griddle skillet, a 10" skillet, and a 15" skillet), and another batch of cookies to make.

Shopping...done for the week.  We just finished getting the last of the groceries we'll need for a bit, and the milk is switched from the jug I split by dropping it into a gallon pitcher (we lost about a pint or so).

One of the things we got was a larger pen for the puppy.  She's getting big enough now that she can nearly jump out of her three foot high play pen.  The one she's got (that's now zip-tied to our chain link fence) is four feet high, and has eight two-foot-wide panels.  We also got her a house for her outside time (and yes, sometimes she nags to go outside in the most awful weather--doesn't really care that it's cold and drizzly).  This should make visiting family much easier: just watch the weather, and chuck the puppy into her teeny-tiny yard.

All that has kept me busy, today.  Finishing up the laundry and the dishes will hopefully keep me busy enough that I won't be checking my book sales figures every few minutes.

And to the three that have bought copies of The Godshead on Kindle already...thanks. 

Book Bomb Blegging

If you were going to buy The Godshead anyway, would you mind all doing that today?  Both the Kindle version (top) and the paperback (bottom) are linked over at the right, replacing Survivors to keep from cluttering up the blog.

If you're not sure, here's the cover blurb:

The Godshead

Food and drink for sale; snark for free...

It's hard to be a god nobody believes in, sometimes.   Especially when one spends their days trying to quietly go about his or her life in a world that barely remembers the myths surrounding the old Greek gods, but where some religions still follow the old Norse gods.   

And some of the Norse gods are getting more dangerous: Loki, the trickster, has lost the last of what passed for his sanity, and needs to be helped, or stopped.  One of the two.  And no one seems to be up to it. 

At least, not alone.  Working together, they can avoid the worst of Loki's tricks, and maybe even solve their problems.

A tale told from several points of view.

Here's the link to the Kindle version, for samples of the first two chapter/stories, and here's a link to a few stories from the world that didn't fit in the plot.

I really enjoyed writing the book, and have a follow-up waiting in the wings for time to be written.