Saturday, December 13, 2008

Winter Weather Advisory

The part of the state I live in is under a winter weather advisory. It could be worse, I suppose; I could live in the Northeast. When we got up this morning, we found about six to eight inches new snow and winds gusting from 20-30 mph. Even though it’s still about 15 F (it’s supposed to get colder as the weekend wears on), the wind chill is below zero.

The walkway leading from the front of our house down to sidewalk is perpendicular to the wind and had drifted over. We spent 25 minutes clearing both the front and back yard walks and our sidewalk. The dogs made a really, really, really quick circuit of the back yard, did their business and ran back inside.

I was pleasantly surprised by one thing. This last summer, we spent $2500 on new windows for the house – nice, double-pane, low-e high performance windows – because our old ones were shot. We put the new ones in ourselves. This morning there was snow clinging to the outside of window! One the old ones, the snow would have been warmed by heat coming out of the house and turned to ice.

Since going outside today holds little appeal, I plan to get caught up on some reviews. I came home from work yesterday to find The Ethereal Gazzette Issue Seven sitting in my mail box. It is definitely a slim volume, with only six stories, one of them Nicky’s “House of Cards.” The "victim" in this latest rant, er story, is someone who writes real person fiction. Go figure. Review to come soon.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Miscellaneous Stuff

Nicky has finally managed to really make me angry. His latest article at Associated Content (no, I won't link to it) is a long, whiny, self-indulgent rant about how he has to live with the stigma of being bipolar and how, by holding him accountable for his actions, we are denigrating all people who have mental illnesses. That's bullshit.

I've posted this elsewhere, but I work with someone who is bipolar. He treats his illness, he takes his meds, and he's a valuable and responsible employee. He has the occasional overreaction, usually to a stressful situation where he feels angrier at someone than the situation warrants. But he has come to realize when his reaction may be inapproriate, and he trusts those of us who work with him to give him feedback. More than once, he has said to me, "I think I'm overracting. How do you feel about this situation?"

Nicky's logic goes like this, however: I have a mental illness; they are mean to me; therefore, they are mean to all people who have a mental illness. Nicky is incapable of realizing that people are upset with his actions and statements because they are inappropriate in and of themselves -- not because he is a Republican or Christian or bipolar or any other label he chooses to apply to himself. I'm not convinced he needs to be institutionalized, but he definitely needs supervision and medication.

In other news:

Morning workouts suck. I just got done with a really great kickboxing class, but it wore me out. I'm just not at my best physically in the morning. When I was running a lot and entered a few races -- I'm a slow runner, but I like the energy and the fun of races -- they were always in the morning. It took me twice as long to get warmed up then as it did for later afternoon events.

I've been ramping up my workout schedule, though, because my martial arts instructor informed me several weeks ago that he wants me to test for my next degree of black belt before Christmas. Yikes. For the last test, I worked out several days a week for about four months to get in shape for the six hour test (and most of it was kicks, punches, sparring -- very aerobic). I lost about 10 pounds and was the lightest I had been since college. I rocked that test.

This time, the test will be more mental than physical, but I still don't feel ready for it. I've also had a couple of minor injuries since the last test that make if difficult for me to perform physically to the level I want. Tomorrow, I'm going to run a 5K and see how bad I feel at the end.

Also, thanks to those who have been visiting my Associated Content pages. My third article finally posted. It has nothing to do with Nicky, but now that I have three published pieces, all subsequent pieces will go up immediately. I have an estimated 262 page views as of this morning, which gives me a clout level of 2 and an estimated payment of $0.39. That's about half what I need for a cup of coffee. I'm living the high life now. Heh.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ethereal Gazette Issue Something-or-Other

A few days ago, I purchased the most recent edition of Nicky's Ethereal Gazette. It was priced lower than the other issues (it should be; it's shorter), and it has Nicky's new story "House of Cards" in it. I got a notice from Lulu this morning that it had shipped. It's coming via media mail, so I expect it will be next week before it arrives. I'll post a review here and on AC.

I've also started writing my review of Tabloid Purposes IV. This is the only other one of Nicky's books that I have a hard copy of. All the others I've purchased in PDF format or downloaded for free thanks to Nicky's exemplary Lulu skills. Since I also have a PDF version of TP IV, I'm seriously considering destroying the printed copy in some way.


I might try to get my dog to shred it (he's cute, and he'd look good up on Youtube), or I could run it through my shredder. That's not very dramatic, though.

I could also use it for target practice with one of my guns. My little 20 gauge shotgun would make mincemeat of it in two or three shots. It would be impressive, but I'm not big on using guns in such a casual manner just to amuse folks.

Or I could mail it to someone who could do something much

Monday, December 1, 2008

Articles up at Associated Content

Finally, my first two reviews are published at AC. That only took more than a week. They can be found here:

Nano is Over

Nanowrimo was over at midnight last night, and yes, I was still typing at 11:30 p.m. My hero was rescuing my heroine and a kid (well, teenager) from the bad guy's henchman. I got to write a kick ass fight scene with guns and knives. Yay! I made it to 39,700 words, which although not a winning 50,000, is still a new record for me.

I also got a great idea for the ending from a conversation with a woman in my critique group. I'll have to do a slight bit of research, but the bad guy is going to die in an awesome way based on something that really happened -- or rather that almost happened, since the person who survived it told the woman in my group who told me about it.