Friday, October 31, 2008

Have a Happy Halloweeny

Politics as Usual

Aaaagh! Go away! I already voted. Stop sending me junk mail. Stop the ads on my TV. I already voted. I'm tired of listening to the lies, lies, lies! Leave me alone and go away. Stop the computer phone calls! Go bother an undecided! I already voted! Leave me alone! Aaagh!

Judgement Day

For any of my local readers, please look here before you vote. This is the only resource I could find with information about the three dozen judges on tuesday's ballot.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Callouses Are Coming Back

I've been playing guitar enough since the weekend that I can feel the callouses coming back. The rhythm line from Tangled Up in Blue is coming along now that I figured out a way to deal with the fingerpicking and strumming. I'm not taking any lessons, so it's all creativity on my part if I can't find an answer in a book. I should record and post a snippet this weekend.


I finished my mail-in ballot this evening. Voting whether to retain judges is frustrating. It's difficult to find information to make an informed decision. There is a web site posting results of a large panel that evaluates them, but you have no choice but to take their word for it.

My presidential pick is something I will share. I'm so fed up with the whole government that I wrote in Jack Kemp's name. It's a throw-away vote, but I just couldn't bring myself to vote for Obaba or McCain. Alas.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Superhero Haiku?

My fellow Codex writer and author of Bitterwood, has posted a collection of superhero haiku on his blog. And yes, I am represented therein.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I seem to have migrated into music mode a the expense of my fiction. This happens to me from time to ime, and I do have some modest ambitions in that area as well. My "band," the Iapetus Project, will eventually produce self-recorded, self-distributed music. That is several years off, as I first need to learn how to play a few instruments.

I'm currently working on guitar. Once you have a rudimentary knowledge of an instrument, I believe real compositions can be a great way to learn an instrument (along side etudes and so forth). Last time I was active on guitar, I learned the chord progression for Gordon Lightfoot's The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Although it's not a terribly difficult chord progression, I was just starting out and it took me a week to learn it.

Now that I've finally dug the guitar out from the dust and started playing again, I wanted to play something different. I bought a Bob Dylan collection and have been struggling with Tangled up in Blue. It's a more interesting chord progression and rhythm than is Edmund Fitzgerald, but I ran into a bit of trouble because the tab says to pick the A string with the thumb on the first and third downbeat, and strum chords the rest of the time. Seriously discombobulated my hand because I couldn't do it without switching the fingers holding the pick, then moving it back after the thumb notes. Okay to do if it's being played largo, but this is supposed to be in cut time. Click here to hear the song (directly off Dylan's web site--needs flash) and listen for the thumb plucking the bass.

This evening, I figured out a way to cheat. Instead of using my thumb, I used my pinkie finger and suddenly I can play the rhythm without messing with the pick.

Well, my browser suddenly crashed and I have the mandatory reboot window, so that's it for now.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wedding Day

Okay, enough Saturday. The wedding, which was a Jewish wedding, was held on Sunday. My sister converted, so that gave us the opportunity to see something we haven't seen before, and learn something about the Jewish faith.

This is my newly-minted brother-in-law Barry. He's a good man.

They visited us last year and took my kids to the zoo. I was going to post a picture, but they must be on the other computer.

Here is a picture of Barry with Reanna and Audrey.

Father of the bride with mother of the groom.

Here are my three...Reanna, Audrey, and Russell with his little necktie and his first yamika.

And here, as promised, is a photo of me about 30 seconds after the first time I ever put a yamika on my head. (Yes, I know it's not in the right spot.)

Russell and I wore matching ties, too. More pictures next time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Back to the Wedding Weekend

Okay, I'm finally getting around to posting a few more pictures from the wedding. Where did we leave off? Oh yes, the science museum. After the museum closed, we all went back to the hotel.

Here we have a kid pile. Olivia, Haley, Russell, Reanna, and Audrey.

Olivia shows something to Aunt Kori (the bride to be).

The kids discovered the hot tub...

...and the pool...

...and the gym, especially the treadmills!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Times Gettin' Away From Me

Wow time's gettin' away from me. Thursday since my last post? Really, it's been a tough few days. I did manage to finish my edits of the story I wrote with Ruth Nestvold. She has it now. In addition, I scrapped a story-in-progress because I found it lame. I'm using a similar idea and started the story again with changes.

More pictures from the wedding weekend coming soon. We haven't even been to dinner yet, and the wedding is the next day. I'll post them soon.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Wedding Stuff

Here are the next set of pictures. Reanna enjoyed a hot chocolate moustache during saturday's lunch.

After lunch, we went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. We had to wait in line. Here is Russell, the girls' backs, and Dad wearing a very smart cap.

Here are Mom and Dad waiting in line.

Reanna waits in line while Russell checks to see if he's wearing a superhero costume.

Inside, Doug, my brother, and Julie, my sister, wait for all the kids to catch up.

Russell decided to take a swim with prehistoric fishes.

Reanna gets a visit from a monkey.

She's not so comfortable with this wildebeast thing.

Russell seems to be disturbing the primative.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We're Back

No, I haven't forgotten about the blog. I've been exhausted and swamped between work and homework help since we got back.

As an aside, are you getting as tired of politics as I am? I finally found something that says it all for me in this presidential election.

Say no more.


On saturday, we arrived in Denver and immediately went to lunch with most of the family.

Here is the first picture of the trip, at the restaurant. From left to right, Russell, Reanna, Haley, Kenny's legs, Audrey, and Dad.

More pictures to come.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


This weekend my sister Kori was married to a wonderful guy, Barry Stevelman. This was the first time I've ever witnessed a Jewish wedding, so it was quite an experience.

We flew in from Phoenix yesterday morning and met the rest of the family at the hotel in Denver. The whole family other than Kori went out for lunch and got reacquinted. Almost everyone is here from my side. The only people missing are my nephew Auston, who had a soccer tournament this weekend, and my wife, Rica, who stayed home to care for her mother.

After lunch, we hit the Denver museum of Science and Nature and saw the travelling dinosaur exhibit we missed in Phoenix. We met for dinner, with Kori this time, then went back to the hotel so the kids could swim.

The wedding was this morning, followed by the reception. We're about to head for Kori and Barry's place to visit, then off to the airport. More later, probably with pictures.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Collaboration Redux

Last September (as in 07) the Codex Writers Group held a captive collaboration contest. I was matched with the esteemed Ruth Nestvold. She has a bit more of a track record than I do, so I was thrilled with the match-up.

It seemed to work well, too. Unfortunately, we both got busy and only finished half the story. Fast forward half a year and I pushed the story through to a conclusion, then tossed back to Ruth. We discussed some problems with the story and she took the task of doing a thorough overhaul of the manuscript.

A couple days ago I got it back from her. I did a read through and I think the story is starting to look pretty good. Right now, I'm going through the manuscript making some cosmetic changes focusing on lyrical prose. By that, I mean the rhythm and meter of the sentence. Prose can have a pleasant cadence and rhythm, just like music. Perhaps I'll write more on that.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Are You Sneoome Who Can Raed Tihs?

I found this, in all places, on my daughter's You tube channel (the identity of which I will not disclose). I found it to be quite interesting.

Cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!if you can raed tihs rpsoet it. OLNY RSEPOT IF YOU CAN RAED TIHS
Can you read it? I'll bet you can, and I think that is fascinating. Don't you?

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Step Forward

On Sunday, I took my turn having a manuscript raked across the coals. This time it was a story called Karoshi. The response was pretty favorable, and the other writers in the group all gave some good input.

I went through and edited the manuscript tonight and I think it's now in pretty good shape. It felt good to hammer this out. For the past two weeks I had been battling what turned out to be a nasty sinus infection. The treatment I started last week finally kicked in, and things are getting back to normal. Or whatever passes for normal at Entropy Central. I didn't have the energy to write during the worst of it, so it felt good to make decent progress, even if it wasn't new material.

I actually wrote some yesterday, also. That was on my current work in progress, a story I will discuss when the time is right.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Story is Up

"Swirling Beneath One Thin Ring" is now live at The Martian Wave. You can see it here.

I learned today that this will be the final online version of the magazine. After eleven years as a quarterly on the web, they are becoming a biannual print magazine. It has been a good market for me, so you may at some point see me in those pages.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

How to Thwart a Dictator

The Autumn issue of Tales of the Talisman just came out. It contains my story How to Thwart a Dictator. This is the third to appear of four stories I've sold to David Lee Summer. (The fourth comes out next June.)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Frothing at the Mouth

How did I come to my blog Frothing at the Mouth?

This could be a cool theme song for my blog:

But it isn't.

Perhaps this guy, chewing Alka seltzer was my inspiration?


This guy really knows how to froth at the mouth:

But he wasn't the inspiration, either.

Ready for the anti-climax?

When Blogger asked me to name the blog, a Monty Python sketch popped into my head. I recalled a bit of monologue that went something like this: a member of the Conservative party, I just drone on and on and on until I froth at the mouth and fall over backwards...waaaah .

So I typed in Frothing at the Mouth and that's all there is.

Now you know.