Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Try Something!

"It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." – FDR

I like that. It really goes along with one of my favorite mantras to get up even when you can't.

I'm a bit down right now. The whole Christmas shopping thing has got me down. I mean you try to get the very best present, the one that really tells someone that you know them better than they know themselves, you know what their heart REALLY needs. That's a lot of work and pressure.

I recently went to a graduation party with some folks that really know their gift giving craft. I mean these people are master artists when it comes to gift giving. They aren't always big or expensive gifts either, but they're always the gifts that leave not a dry eye in the house. I swear there were four of them in a row (all relatives, sisters, brother-in-law, niece).

Right now I'm trying to figure out the exact present for Mrs. Prop that will do and say just that. It has to be perfect. I'm just a journeyman gift giver though so, where one of the aforementioned masters might just give a flick of the wrist to a present to make it perfect, like a Da Vinci adding just the right amount of smile to old Mona, I'm going to agonize over for days.

I guess I have to take Frank's advice and just do it. Wish me luck.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Guya Principal Chapter Delta

– Monday 28 October
The Goddess on the Mountaintop

Peggy dragged herself into work Monday morning. She wore an oversized brown sweater and a loose wool skirt that came to her knees. She wore brown flats and her hair in a ponytail tied with a rubber band. As soon as she came in she went straight to the coffee station.

Over the years the SETI budget had been shrinking like the polar icecap. The Seattle branch office had been reduced to moving in upstairs from a Starbucks. They ended up with so little money for computers that they had to buy seconds (usually missing the “P” key for some reason). More and more they had to deal with less and less.

In the old days they would have had a full cafeteria with seventeen different coffee drinks, pastries, bagels, hot and cold sandwiches and some other, mostly ignored beverages. The break room now consisted of several poorly balanced tables, mismatched chairs, a soda machine with no Pepsi or Coke products, a candy machine, an empty sandwich machine and a coffee machine that rationed the divine nectar out in four ounce paper cups. It was a sacrilege and nothing more or less than a slap in their faces.

The employees therefore set up their own coffee station. They took an unused cubical and put in a small refrigerator, a microwave, a two pot coffee maker, a cappuccino machine and a water cooler. They did manage to disguise the original purchases in the budget as OSHA required first aid and survival equipment. Still they were only afforded so little money that they had to buy the items at flea markets and garage sales. As time went on the equipment fell into disrepair. There was no money for replacements so the employees made due with whatever spare parts they could find or steal and make the repairs themselves, mostly with duct tape, aluminum foil and cardboard.

The “fridge” was a Styrofoam ice chest that actually had ice only in the winter when it was free. The microwave consisted of a cardboard box wrapped in aluminum foil with a windup egg timer. The water cooler was a wooden apple crate painted white and an empty Hinckley and Schmidt bottle was stuck on top. Everyone had saved his or her last paper cups from the day the water cooler gasped its last burble burp.

At least the coffee maker still worked; although it looked like a steampunk assembled rube-Goldberg that Peggy insisted was actually powered by two extremely exhausted mice. The only coffee that the office would purchase was the used grounds that the downstairs Starbucks gave away.

Still the coffee station was the place where everyone went to “get a cup of water or coffee.” They would stand around sipping at the moist air or coffee colored water in their flotsam paper cups and gossip.

“Is Jackie here?” Peggy asked the gossip crew.

“She’s in the break room. I think I still hear her beating on the sandwich machine,” John said. He was standing by the “microwave” with his hands on his hips. The egg timer alarm dinged and he opened the box. “Still cold, I’ll just put it in for another minute.”

Peggy found Jackie cursing at the sandwich machine. This was a daily ritual for her, but it usually occurred around lunchtime.

Jackie looked like a cross between a moa bird, a lily white King Kong and Angelica Huston’s Morticia Aadams who put on two hundred pounds of muscle and cut off all but enough hair to cover her neck muscles. Jackie always wore black ankle length skirts and oversized black sweaters, a feat since at more than six feet tall and heavy enough to compete as a heavyweight in men’s boxing very little could be called “over-sized.” The only attribute of her exceptional size that she didn’t camouflage was her height; in fact she accentuated it by wearing heavy, Cuban soled boots.

It was rumored that Jackie herself had eaten all the sandwiches in the machine and was enamored by the vending employee, because she liked small men in uniform with manual labor jobs and because she loved his sandwiches. The vendor had been so traumatized by this that he never even returned to collect the machine. Jackie’s daily assault on the machine therefore had a deeper and much more melancholy undertones than mere caloric intake.

"Jackie, is there anyway I can get some time on the Hubble?" Peggy asked.

"Peggy, you look like shit. Time on the Hubble? It would be easier to get you on the shuttle and put you physically on the Hubble than to get you on the schedule. Why? What do you have?"

"Just a hunch really."

"Where did this hunch come from?"

Peggy didn't answer. She just looked Jackie in the eye. She could have sworn that, out of the corner of her eye, while she and Jackie were having a staredown, the sandwich machine was trying to use the distraction to sidle away.

"Why do you need the visible spectrum? You may not have noticed, but we generally use radio around here. What are you looking for?"

Peggy sighed, "What are we all looking for?"

Jackie slammed her palm into the corner of the machine, just past Peggy's head adding another dent. Peggy was slightly amazed that although the metal body of the machine was littered with dents like the moon was littered with craters, the glass in the front was not only untouched, it was clean and free of any hand prints. She followed Jackie's massive arm up to her face.

"You know I'd do anything for you. You also know that it would exhaust every favor I have out and then some to get you what you're asking for, but you won't tell me anything about it. Why are you stone-walling me?"

Suddenly she laughed and shook the machine. The steel still in her grip groaned. "You're haggling. Ask for the moon when you really want something much smaller. What do you need, some time on the VLA or the VLBA?" Jackie asked, referring to the Very Large Array of radio telescopes and the Very Long Baseline Array system of radio telescopes. They would be able to provide the highest resolution possible for faint radio signals.

"I just need some time to crunch some of the numbers they probably already have on the VLBA."

"Crunch numbers? I'll bet you want time on a Cray too?"

Peggy nodded, "Not too long, probably only an hour or so."

"VLBA is no problem and I guess I'll have to let Gladys Freshbureaux feel me up. Oh well," she said striking a double biceps pose and letting her sleeves begin to tear before letting off, "she'll pass out from excitement before it gets too naughty." Jackie smiled.

"I'm going as She-Hulk for Halloween. What do you think?"

What Peggy thought was, "not again," but what she said was, "How could you top your performance last year. You've won first place for the past three years as She-Hulk."

"Well, the first year I won by sheer power. The second year I got a better outfit and gained ten pounds of muscle. The third year I got better body paint, a better wig and gained ten more pounds of muscle."

"Right, so what are you going to do this year?"

"I have a secret that I'm only going to tell you, there are two things. The first is that I gained twenty pounds of muscle. The second is that I grew a full inch taller."

Peggy's jaw dropped, "I didn't think a person about the age of twenty could grow any more."

Jackie shrugged her enormous shoulders, "I guess it was the supplements and the additional workout regiment I picked up this year. Most of it is done hanging by my feet."

"Wow," Peggy was truly impressed.

Jackie did a couple of poses ending with a pose that had her bent forward and crossing her forearms with her head down. She popped her head up and looked at Peggy, "Now will you tell me where this hunch came from?"

Peggy reached up and squeezed Jackie's arm. "Oo you are so strong." Actually, Peggy, who was no slouch in the athletics department couldn't compress the powerful muscles in the slightest. It was one thing to hear her talk about how big and strong she was and it was another thing to see her pose, but actually feeling the strength and power sent an involuntary shudder through Peggy's body. The original human warning and emergency response system was tripped like there was some small frightened girl in her mind, running and screaming past the breakers and tripping every one of them before her mother could overtake her and apologize endlessly to the management. Before the audible alarm was tripped Peggy slipped off to her cube muttering, "Gotta go."

Marsha was waiting by the entrance to her cube like an octopus on a coral reef. As soon as Peggy stepped into her cube, Marsha was on her with questions.

"Did he say anything else? What did he say? What'd you find out? Why do you look like hell? Did you get a hold of your friend at VLA? What did she say? What did the VLA data say? What are you doing for lunch?"

"Yes; more of the same; not sure; I worked all weekend; Yes; Yes; inconclusive; probably dieing so keep the electric paddles handy, okay," Peggy offered a wan smile.

Marsha tried to keep track of which question went with which answer on her fingers, but gave up. Instead she sat down on the spare chair, really a stack of paper boxes (really a stack of paperboxes that no longer contained blank paper, but were stuffed with the flotsam of all the previous occupants of that cube). "Start from the beginning."

"I took Birdy home and he wouldn't shut up. He got worse and worse. At first he was saying coordinates every so often, but it eventually got so bad Sunday morning that I had to give him sleeping pills. He was still navigating in his sleep. Some of the coordinates are to real things and others aren't. The only way that the numbers made sense is if they were coming from something moving and it was using the coordinates to plot a course. I hobbled together a program to see if I could figure out where that thing could be and where it could be heading.

"If something is adjusting course, wouldn't it have to have some sort of propulsion system?"

"As far as I know."

"Oo, do you think this could really be extra-terrestrial?" Marsha asked, so excited that she nearly spilled her brown coffee-water.

"I can't find any sort of source. If it's ET then we should see some sign of that, right, some indication of the point of origin? If we don't find where the signal is coming from we should at least be able to see some signature of the propulsion system. I don't see anything on the data I could get from the VLA. I also can't figure out how my pet bird is getting signals that can't be detected by any of our equipment."

Marsha seemed deflated. "So you don't think it's ET?"

"I don't know what it is, but I'm not willing to give up on the ET angle yet. Heck, none of us would be here if we didn't have a blind, walk-off-a-cliff-in-embarrassing-underwear faith that there is something out there and we're willing to push our own grandmothers' down a flight of stairs in a box of broken glass and knives in the path of an oncoming train, to be the first ones to prove it."

"Graphic. So your still maintaining your theory that your pet bird is getting some, otherwise undetectable signals from some undetectable, moving intelligent source not of this earth?"


"No wonder you look like hell. So what can you do to prove your theory now?"

"I got Jackie to get me data from the VLBA and some time on a Cray to analyze it for patterns."

"Still looking for the ship?"

"If I design the program right I'm planning on looking for the ship and confirming the course that Birdy has been plotting. I wanted to actually look with the Hubble, but Jackie shot that down. I think that if I can show that Birdy is actually giving coordinates for a path through space we could show that he must be getting signals from something out there. And then she'd have to let me look in the place I think the signal is from."

They both looked out the window at the sky.

"So, is this work related? I mean can we work on your program here, now?"

"It's not strictly work. I'm supposed to analyze some data from some spectrographs and design a database for some data Gary developed. Work is mundane, pedestrian, routine…"

"Work is work."


"Okay, so we'll meet at your place tonight. My car's in the shop so I'll need a ride, but if you stop at a store I'll buy the margaritas."


Marsha left and Peggy suddenly realized that she had never had anyone from work over to her apartment. This was the most social event of her career, and she owed it all to Birdy.

Marsha and Peggy rode directly to Peggy's apartment. By 'directly' it of course meant stopping by a liquor store for margarita mix, tequila and ice.

When they got to the apartment Peggy grabbed the mail and started going through it.

"Where's Birdy?" Marsha asked.

"He's in his room. He may still be sedated. If he's awake and hears us he'll let us know."

Marsha went to the kitchen to start making some margaritas. The apartment was sparse and Scandinavian like a page out of an Ikea catalog. In fact it was exactly the items off a page in the Ikea catalog. When Peggy rented the apartment she had simply gone to Ikea and pointed to the pages of the rooms she wanted, the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom and one of the bedrooms. Delightfully it had all come in flat boxes and she was able to put all the furniture for a two bedroom apartment in the bed of her pickup truck.

"Jesus, it looks just like a page out of an Ikea catalog in here," Marsha said.

Peggy opened her cable bill and noticed something odd. She was paying extra for a channel.

"Hey, you have a lot of vodka in here," Marsha said as she looked for a blender.

"That's Birdy's." Peggy walked toward Birdy's room.

The room was actually half Birdy's. Peggy had built a cage wall running through the center of the room. On one side were a bowflex machine, an exercise bike and a television. The television was actually Birdy's and he had the remote.

On the other half of the room the floor was covered in an easily replaceable tarp, there were several perches, a couple of food and water dishes, a hammock and the closet. The closet was Birdy's bedroom and he was free to open and close the door when he wanted. It had a very nice dog bed on a shelf in there. It very closely resembled his wild habitat.

Peggy was sure Birdy knew how to open the cage, but it made them both feel better to have it there. It defined his space and made guests, if there had been any, feel more comfortable.

Birdy was in his bedroom still asleep from the sleeping pills she had given him, but she could hear him mumbling coordinates and guidance. She walked into the cage and picked up the remote. She turned it on.

Peggy didn't watch television, not at all. She didn't even watch when she was riding the exercise bike. Birdy had asked her about it a few times. It seemed to annoy him, since he clearly got so much of his social skills from television. It was his window to the world.

When she turned it on Telemundo came on with a soccer game. She pressed the "Recall" button and the NASA channel popped up.

"How long has he been watching this?" She asked herself.

She looked at the bill and was stunned. She wasn't sure which was more shocking, that Birdy had started watching the NASA channel since the day before he started spouting space coordinates like a jailhouse rat sings or that the bill through the end of October came three days before the end of the month.

"What's going on?" Marsha asked as she walked into the room with two pitchers of margaritas. "Wow, would you look at this room."

"I thought I should give him enough room for his own space," Peggy said.

"No, I mean, finally a room with character. Did Birdy decorate this himself?"

"Yes, especially the Jackson Pollack flooring. Look at this."

She showed Marsha the bill and the channel.

"So he started watching NASA channel and then he started saying coordinates. What does that mean?"

"It means I have to reevaluate all my work so far. He could be just delusional and repeating things he heard on this channel."

"Well, my mother always said, 'the best thing for going over old numbers is a good, big margarita,'" she handed Peggy her drink.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Guya Principal Chapter Gamma

– Monday Morning 28 October
"There Is Unrest in the Forest, There is Trouble with the Trees" – Treebeard Fangorn

"Jared, you're late. Seth's going to be all over your ass like black on asphalt," Todd spoke over his cubical wall.

"Thanks for worrying about me Todd," Jared smiled. He always smiled. He was a big man, a huge, hulk of a man. What wasn't clear was how much of it was muscle and how much fat. The women of the office never tired of the debate. His head was large and square, but his cheeks were sunken and the skin seemed to be tight on his face. But his jacket and vest could never be stuffed with that much muscle. Could they?

The fact was that Jared Sharpfield was square all over. There was nothing round about him. He was square, square and solid like machine steel. He was far heavier than anyone would guess.

As a young farm boy he made money by going to carnivals and having the man grossly miss-guess his weight. Once the man insisted that Jared must have been smuggling an additional person onto the scale, inside his coat. It was one of the rare times Jared took his coat and shirt off in public. The man banned him from ever returning. He was similarly banned from the ring the bell booth and any other strength challenges.

At the time his small hometown of Barrensoil Flats was going through a depression that had pretty much started when it's founder Cyrus Blackthumb founded the town on history's first ever toxic waste dump. Of course they didn't know it back then. Young Jared knew that he had to get out of town to seek his fortune so he convinced one of the carnivals to take him with by suggesting a bear-wrestling booth.

This was surprisingly lucrative because rather than having a real bear, Jared dressed up in a bear costume. No one ever managed to take the "bear." It made so much money that sometimes they stayed in one town for weeks. They only had to leave when a town figured out it was just Jared in a suit. The surprising thing to Jared was that they often hit the same towns year after year.

He eventually had to quit because he outgrew the suit. He moved on to rodeo. Fortunately he never passed as a horse or bull. He was too big to ride in any of the speed events and it didn't take him long to figure out how to stay on any horse or bull for as long as he wanted. He ended up as a clown, but that only lasted a year. The bulls caught on faster than the carnival attendees that it was Jared in the suit and whenever he was out there they were on their best behavior. This made the bull riding less than exciting.

Jared moved onto lumberjacking. There was a rumor that he found a huge ox frozen in ice that turned out to be blue after he thawed it out and named it Babe. When questioned about it Jared just smiles. Since Jared is a quiet man you can take that to mean whatever you want.

Lumberjacking did get Jared involved with the USDA Forest Service, which in actual fact is in charge of regulating the lumber industry. They are the ones who tell lumber companies that it's okay to cut down trees. They also have a scholarship program as a way of silencing young lumberjacks who become too nosey about how they decide which bits of National Forests come under the axe. Jared won a scholarship.

While in school he fell in with two groups of undesirables. The first group was convinced that civilization was on the brink of collapse and they'd better be ready with lots of guns and the second was concerned about the environment. Jared got along fairly well with both groups because he too was concerned about the environment and the gun people wanted to him to be on their volleyball team. He liked blocking and spiking.

In college he developed his own philosophy on survivalism, a balanced, realistic and holistic love of the environment and a killer jump serve. He was quickly on is way to earning a PhD in Forestry and talking to Todd that Monday morning. His one regret about his most recent promotion was that it brought him to Washington and put him back in a suit. At least his business suits weren't as itchy as the bear suit had been.

"Why are you late anyway?" Todd asked. "Out with your buddies building a compound or loading shotgun shells?"

Actually Jared had been harvesting corn on his small farm. He grew the corn to make ethanol for his pickup and the generator he used on his house. To Todd's question he smiled and said, "no."

He made his way to his own office and sat down to read his email and listen to his voicemail. The phone rang.

"Jared, this is Seth, please come to my office."

Jared got up and stepped out of his office. Todd gophered up in his cube.

"Told you," he winked. "Seth is going to load shotgun shells all over your butt."

"How did you know…"

Seth stuck his head out of his office, ten feet away and said, "and bring Todd with you."

Jared turned to Todd. "Seth wants you."

Jared waited for him and they walked the length of two cubicles to Seth's office together. Todd was just as tall as Jared, but where Jared was square Todd was rounded. From the top of his coppery hair to the soles of his sensible shoes he was fluffy with no sharp angles.

"I don't know how we're ever going to afford everything this year," Seth began almost before they were in the door. "I wish there was a god so I could pray to it, but I don't even have that consolation. Sit."

Seth had been sitting himself and when the two others sat he stood up. Only when they were sitting was he actually as tall as they were. Not only was he short, but he probably only weighted as much as Jared's right arm and was prematurely gray. He looked like an old, disillusioned Gary Coleman who had had his stomach stapled and forgot which doctor had done it so he could get it removed, and oh what was the use of getting it removed anyway, might as well just wither and die.

Seth handed Jared a plane ticket. "There's a conference in Florida on the everglades and I need you to go. Never mind that you're so big that I had to get you business class and still you're too heavy so I had to get you two tickets. We'll never make budget this year."

"Didn't we just start a new fiscal year, and didn't we have money left over from last year?" Todd asked.

"Exactly. We didn't use it so this year we don't have it. If this conference had just been three weeks earlier we would have been able to book you two first class tickets," he shook his head.

"Florida in October big guy. You'll get to keep that tan that much longer," Todd said.

"I'm not a wetlands expert," Jared said.

"You're the best tree-man I have and it looks like it's going to be mostly cypress talk anyway."

"Any particular stance I need to take?"

"Same as always, 'say no and deny everything,'" Todd said and punched Jared playfully. It hurt his hand.

"Exactly. Todd you deserve a gold star today, here." Seth handed him a ticket. "You can work on keeping your tan too."

"I burn. Why am I going?"

"Besides trees they're going to talk bacterial contamination and mutation with the rising water levels due to global warming."

"Rising water levels? Florida is trying to come up to meet us," Todd said.

"Exactly. You leave tomorrow and the conference lasts until Sunday. I suppose you'll need the rest of the day off to pack."

"Yes please," Todd said.

"You can take off at noon, and I'll expect you to do all your work that you owe here by remote while you're gone."

"Hey, big guy, we're going to be there for Halloween. What are you going as?" Todd asked Jared.

"Hadn't thought about it."

Todd was looking at his tickets anyway, "Hey, how come I don't get two seats, I'm just as tall as Jared?"

"Have you ever been camping?"

"Yes of course."

"Did you use a sleeping bag?"


"A down one or polyfill?"

"A really nice down one, my wife bought me."

"And when you packed it you stuffed it into the bag into a tiny space, right?"

"Oh yeah, it came with this little stuff sack about this big and that big bag fit right in,” he held up his hand as if he were holding a newborn puppy.

"Do you think you could have fit two bricks in that stuff sack?"

"No, they'd never fit and they'd tear right through the bag. It was very thin nylon, I think it was nylon. What does this have to do with airline seats?"

"Jared is a brick sleeping bag."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dude! Martian Surf's Up!

Hey, I just heard that they found the best evidence that water was on Mars as recently as a few years ago.


You know, the morning the Challenger blew up I had told my Dad, "They'll never get the space program to work unless they can make it profitable and in order to make it profitable they need to take risks. They should just launch that thing." Ironic huh?

Well, I still think I was right. Now we have a golden oppurtunity. I want to be the first to surf Mars. You coming?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Guya Principal Chapter Beta

– Saturday Morning 26 October
"I Had It Made Like a Mountain Range"
-Slartibartfast (or Peter Gaberiel, I Can't Remember Which)

"Don't talk to me woman." Daryl "Splendid Animal" Trofimuk shuffled through the kitchen on Saturday morning. He was already dressed, but he still wore his slippers. His gold-rimmed glasses were very fashionable. He wore a dark green dress shirt under a multi-colored, Bill Cosby cardigan. He wore Dockers with cuffs to match.

"But Daryl…” his young wife Lynn began, pointing to the table full of breakfast.

"Ap!" He said showing her his wide palm, soft, dark fingers splayed. He shuffled past and into the large "music" room.

Lynn Trofimuk was a beautiful blonde woman, forty years his junior. She wore a pink teddy under a sheer pink robe. As soon as Daryl walked out of the kitchen his mistress, Shara walked in. She was twenty years Lynn's junior, six inches shorter and just as beautiful, but her chocolate skin was completely covered by a long terrycloth robe.

Organ music started coming from the other room as "Splendid" began a Bach sonata.

"You know I'm supposed to get him in the morning." Lynn protested to the younger woman.

"Listen honey, you're lucky he makes time with you at all."

"Listen 'honey,' you're lucky I don't kick your sorry ass right out of this house." Lynn stood.

"He'd never let you." Shara swiveled her neck.

"Oh, he'd have no choice, seeing as he'd have nothing to do with you if I took away all his Viagra." She was stood over Shara with a full pot of coffee.

Both women started laughing.

"Coffee?" Lynn asked.

"Yes please, with cream, sugar,” Shara ran a finger down the opening of Lynn's robe, "and you."

"I knew there was a reason I kept you around." Lynn put the coffee pot down and her lips descended on Shara's full lips.

Splendid stood up from his organ and heard the soft moans of his women in the other room. He shook his head and smiled. "So good those two are getting on so well."

He shuffled over to the stereo and selected a play along cd. He had actually made it a few years ago. It included him playing bass, piano and drums.
A dish crashed in the other room as the women began using the table like a bed.

"Hey! Don't be breaking my dishes in there. Go in the bedroom if you're getting too energetic." He yelled to them.

"Yes Splendid." The women chorused.

He shook his head. At least they weren't on the floor. That was dirty.

The opened the door and poked their heads through.

"You want to join us?"

He looked down at his instruments. "You know, as a child my daddy never allowed me to play music. He always said, 'now son that ain't work, learnin's real work.' He made me study and read all day. When I got older he made me go to college. He said I had to be a doctor. He said there wasn't anybody else in the county smart enough to be a doctor and that folks needed a doctor and it kept me out of Korea too. So I went. I was a damn good doctor too, but all the while I never got to play music. Now, five years ago I retired, learned every instrument I wanted and built this beautiful studio full of instruments. I can finally play music all day if I want."

Lynn and Shara both leaned through the door opening a little more, pulled their robes open and flashed augmented mammaries at him. "You could play us."

"Right, get me another one of those pills and give me twenty minutes."

"Why does he always tell us that when we cut into 'music time'?" Shara asked.

"Just get him the pill. I have to go up stairs and warm myself up,” Lynn looked down at her cleavage. "Maybe you better make that a double."

Shara gave Splendid his pill with a tall glass of mimosa.

"Thank you baby," he said. He picked up his guitar and strummed it. "Got my mojo working."

"It's sure working on me," she smiled and pranced out of the room. "Don't be long or we may just finish without you.

He nodded and kept playing. Slowly he could feel the drugs acting on his body, making it do what his mind wanted, but it wouldn't have been able to before. Some day he wouldn't even be able to rely on the drug as a crutch. Then the music would have him all to itself. He strummed one last time. Not today though. He got up and walked lively to the stairs.

Another Accomplishment

I wrote the entire previous post while I was at Guard on my PDA!

I wanted to do that last drill, but I was too busy. This drill I made time by not going to the family Christmas party, which my family couldn't attend, I was excused from because I was involved in a 24 hour exercise that ended at 0900 and I just think that those type of activities steal valuable time that we need for training.

Training like doing your blog at drill on your PDA.

I did have a scare today and a problem has developed. My PDA has been giving me problems when I try to sync my calendar with my home computer. That's no biggie since that isn't my primary anyway. Now I can't sync with my work computer and it looked for a few hours there like I had caused the PC to crash. Oops , that would have been bad.

Well, anyway, right now I can't sync my PDA calendar with my work PC. I'll let you know when and if I get that fixed. If I don't it isn't any different really than when I was using a paper planner.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Last Thursday I finished my SECOND NaNoWriMo book!

On November 1st I started with an idea and a blank screen. At 2330 (11:30 PM I tend to use
"Military'' time or the 24 hour clock because for some reason however I write am or PM the computer tells me I'm wrong and because I can) on November 30th I sent my 50,000 word book (sort of a novella by word count standards) to the website for National Novel Writing Month.

My book is called Guya Principal and it's a comedy. The story is about a moon-sized blob of dark matter that rubs up against the Earth and because the blob has an intelligence, it forms its own kind of Earth.

I really have to stress how impressive this is. For two years in a row I managed to put together a completely original novel in one month. This year was harder than last. I woke up at 0400 each morning after working my shift at work 1000-1900 and going home and trying to spend quality time with my family until about 2200 and also going to National Guard.

I'll post the first couple chapters on this blog later. I'll also send the whole thing out to some very select people.

If you'd like a copy of the whole kit and caboodle please let me know so I can send it to you. I only ask that you let me know what you think.