Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

That's about it, aside from the fact that I hope you all gain the measure of comfort due you in the new year, and every measure of success and happiness you care to achieve.

Now, get drinking (if that's your thing), and stay safe.

Oh, and it's been seven years since I quit smoking.

Josh Brolin?

Goonies. I sit watching Goonies, and who should I recognize? Josh Brolin... Of No Country for Old Men and now True Grit, is the older brother?


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Songs I Dug as A Young Man...

And still do:

Siousxie & The Banshees:

and this:

Love & Rockets:

and this:

The Stone Roses:

Still more Stone Roses:

At about 4:51 in, it gets quite sick, then again at 8:35 or so:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My, But I've Been A Lucky Man

Several of my friends have recently, merely by striving to overcome the shit circumstances they find themselves in, proven to me how lucky I am. Not just in my family and friends, but in life in general:

The Coolness had a very tough year, and came through healthier than she went into it. She's working as a teaching assistant at my daughter's school, and doing so well that the principal made statements indicating her great confidence in The Coolness' abilities.

My kid kicks ass, and I am blessed with the opportunities to observe and coach her and her young friends at soccer, something few get the chance to do. She is also very sharp at school, reasonably well-mannnered, and the apple of her daddy's eye. Not bad for my simple, fervent wish of almost eight years ago that she simply be born healthy and whole.

I have a job to whine about. This is certainly not to be taken for granted, though I know I too often focus too much on the tiny negatives in the workplace (like asshats and their asshattery). It is, however, sure motivation for the next thing I have to feel lucky about.

I was published this last year, and paid near a thousand dollars for my work. That's pretty damn cool. It was confirmation I have a modicum of talent for this writing thing that might lead to a second career.

I survived a thankfully minor accident on the motorbike, and was even able to make my daughter's soccer dinner that very night.

I had the opportunity to reconnect with a friend of mine of 28 years. Not only did we manage to meet in a city neither of us live in, we had an incredible time and made a number of new friends (WFC was the shit! If you missed it, you need not do so again. If you write or read fantasy, go.) Among those new amigos were some guys who have consistently taken care of me, and been great fun to shoot the shit with.

I am thankful for all the experiences this undeserving, loud-mouthed, Ranting Griffin has had in the last year, and hope that if your year was less than stellar, that it is only because the stars were aligning for your future, and you need only endure this brief while.

I certainly hope to be there to help and encourage every one of the people that have proven me so very lucky in my friends and life.

Thank you.

For now, my lovely daughter is smiling at me, and I go to join her and The Coolness...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Fifth Element & Heavy Metal

I have been a Heavy Metal fan since I was about twelve. I am not referring to the music, though I am a fan of most metal. I instead refer to the magazine loaded with the offerings of artists like Moebius and Serpieri. The magazines come out quarterly, and are full of fantastic, beautiful artwork. On occasion the stories also attempt different narrative forms and push the envelope.

Some might remember the movie Heavy Metal, which came out in the 80s, and was a fantastic film with an amazing soundtrack and cast of voice-actors. Later, there was Fakk2, a less successful (and less worthy) offering.

Why do I bring this up?

Because The Fifth Element, one of the most successful science fiction movies ever produced, is on just now, and the art direction is entirely inspired by and rendered by the artists that graced the pages of Heavy Metal.

If you have not seen the film, do so. If you have not read the magazine, give it a look. Both are worth watching.

Monday, December 27, 2010

True Grit on Christmas Eve

I friend of mine has had more than his share of troubles of late, so I invited him to see a movie on Christmas Eve while The Coolness watched our kids.

He and I are both fans of John Wayne, and the original film True Grit is one of my absolute favorite movies ever. I loved the language and smartass child of the original.

The old anti-hero with little to lose and not much to live for being forced to see his faults (and his strengths) through the eyes of a child not his own is a sobering, effective humanization of a character that would otherwise not develop as cleanly.

John Wayne won an Oscar for the role. I worried that Jeff Bridges had some massive boots to fill, and might not be up to the task.

Even so, I had high expectations.

Without getting into so much detail that I ruin it for folks who have yet to see the remake True Grit should garner more than one or two Oscars.

The screenplay is far better than the original: the dialogue is far better, the annoying instances of the female lead minimized, and the characters better presented (flaws and all).

The cinematography is stellar. The depictions of violence pull no punches, as it should be.

Bridges reaches right past the inestimable John Wayne and reaches Rooster Cogburn, making the character come alive. I forgot who was playing the role, and just focused on the mythic man's story.

Then there is the Texas Ranger. I thought the role the weakest in the original, and also played rather poorly in that instance. Damon corrects these errors and thrills, his interactions with the girl and even Cogburn incredibly well performed.

Pepper is utterly believable as Pepper, as Brolin is as Cheney.

The ending is magnificent. They didn't try to present the "Fill your hands, you son of a bitch!" moment as a John Wayne moment, rather they made it Rooster's moment.

A fine film, and well worth the price of entry.

Is This...

A Good Ick or a Bad Ick?

Most decidedly a Bad Ick.

I just got over being sick, and here I am again, snot-locker full of wonderfully colorful excreta dribbling forth in frothy wonder to form a mass upon the upper lip.

Sleep is the sought-after distraction, the holy grail, not of healing, but of relief from care about whether the boogerjuice flow will ever stop. I sought it with such fervor last night that I do believe I suffered a slight overdose: I feel even more stupid than usual this morning.

Seriously, didn't I just get over a bout of Ick? WTF, over? In my opinion, there is little worse than being sick through the holidays, aside from being sick and in hospital and or without friends and family about you...

Ok, I suppose there is quite a bit worse than having a severe head cold through the holidays. And yes, The Coolness is right, men do revert to big babies when ill.

Pass me my binkie, would you?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. I've been blessed this year, and hope to have time and opportunity to reflect on the many blessings this year has visited on my family.

I hope the same for you and yours.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Communication for Asshats

As I believe I promised a rant yesterday, I feel I must deliver.

If you are not an asshat, then it's unlikely you need this guidance, but as there is so much asshattery in the world and so very few people believe themselves capable of asshattery, let alone with enough frequency to deserve the appellation, I recommend that you read on, just in case.

If you are entering foreign lands, it might behoove you to come prepared. If it's a hot desert you plan to go to, a canteen or even camel back might be a plan, if it's the arctic, wear a fucking jacket and you might even wish to consider some gloves, asshat.

Regardless of the weather or terrain, you might want to learn a bit of the language or culture, or at least learn to keep your mouth shut and eyes open so as to avoid offending the locals so much that you end up a sacrifice to their gods.

Asshats like you are especially pleasing sacrifices to the gods.

I am fairly certain that last little bit is the reason my parents felt so strongly that children should be seen and and not heard: kids who keep their mouths shut and ears open in adult company are more likely to learn something from their elders (and thereby avoid being dropped in the stew).

Because children are all little asshats, waiting to be trained out of that state (or not, if the parenting skills of those responsible for a little asshat are found wanting.)

These rules hold for places and situations not all that foreign to one's culture. Unfamiliar situations such as being in court, trying to get a new job, dating, all carry a degree of risk where keeping your mouth shut, at least to a degree, might gain something for you, asshat.

As my agent once told me, the more you like someone or their work, the less effusive you should be about it when speaking to them. There are few places a conversation can go when a stranger walks up to another and starts the conversation with, "I love you and your work."

The opposite also holds true. If one is a cross-burning racist asshat, one will rarely be best served by starting conversations with, "I hate you and your kind."

Asshats who pull this kind of shit deserve whatever they get.

If you arrive late to whatever foreign place you find yourself, do not go on the attack. Do not think that just because you are concerned about whether you've fucked yourself, that others should give a rat's ass about your self-inflcited doom or, for that matter, feel the need to bow down and sacrifice the least bit of their time for you to engage in any kind of asshattery.

If you are asking what you think is a reasonable question, ask yourself first, "Has this target, this person I wish to ask the question of, have they already answered this question and I was just so late/caught up in my own bullshit that I missed it?"

If the answer is yes, best not fucking ask the question, you asshat.

If the answer is no, then consider asking the question with genuine politeness.

For a moment I forgot I was writing this for true asshats, and almost didn't explain it clearly: by genuine politeness, I mean speech that is not obsequious pandering to what you believe the questioned might want to hear, such as "Hey Boss, what's up with my ____?"

The preceding fails the litmus test for politeness and, further, if the person is not your boss or a horse, now you've gone and labeled them as someone:

a) who is an animal that prefers hay


b) who should run the show, and is therefore somehow capable of fixing your malfunction.

Sorry, no one can do that but you, asshat.

So. Ask politely. Perhaps something along the lines of, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I'm late, could you possibly tell me what to do?"

Then, and this is critically important, you fucking asshat: wait for the full answer. Wait longer than you think an old lady in need of hip replacement would take to cross a particularly wide street.

Now, when the answer begins, give it your full attention. You asked for that answer, and, while I know respect of any kind comes hard to asshats, you need to show some now. This is especially true of complex questions or ones that require a multi-part answer. Process each part of the answer as it is given, and do not respond until the speaker is done.

Do not give in to the instinct to believe your inner asshat, and that the person answering your very important question is as much an asshat as you are, and might either lie to you just to see you get worked up, or doesn't know what they are talking about and failing to give you the very best answer.

This is especially true if that answer contains negative news for you, asshat. No one is willing to help an asshat who, when given bad news, decides to disrupt things further by engaging in further asshattery. Do not think that by getting louder, waxing tearful, pulling an angry face, or bemoaning the fact that you are being treated unfairly, that you are doing anything more than drawing further attention to your asshattery.

Do not repeat the question over and over again to different people hoping to find a better answer, it only proves you an asshat.

Oh, and if your friends have, in the past, proven themselves asshats, don't bring them along. Anywhere. No matter how much they might whine and complain. Their asshattery can only drag you in and keep you treading the shit-filled water.

In short, try very hard not to be an infantile, whining child, you clueless asshat. Try damned hard to follow these rules, and perhaps you will go unidentified as such.

Still, I know it is sometimes very hard to avoid showing your asshattery. For my part, if you are being an asshat, but you're sweating and gritting your teeth in attempt to restrain your natural inclination to such asshattery, I might take pity on you.

No promises, but I might.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Sleepy, and tired. Woke at 0450hrs this morning, for no other reason than I did. Might be the big unknowns staring at me over the horison, I don't know.

Not much to say on things, otherwise. Perhaps tomorrow I'll be up for a rant. Today, well, I just need a nap.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ten Things I've Seen I Shall Never Be Rid Of

Yesterday's post, provoked by Scalzi, also sparked a quick correspondence between myself and a friend. This friend indicated they didn't think they could keep it positive enough to warrant doing it. I understood that, as several events I have witnessed sought to worm their way forward in yesterday's list. I didn't let them, not for that list, at any rate. It did get me thinking, though.

Some that have spoken with me in person might recall I a saying I have about Ocular Herpes. I don't mean, of course, to refer to a strain of real herpes that affects the eyes. No, what I refer to is the things one sees once and will never be rid of. Things that, when I close my eyes, return unbidden.

I am not trying to gross people out, or make them feel for me with this list. Indeed, most of what I have seen was much harder on the viewed than the viewer. All of them are a part of me now, and will remain so until memory fails. Most are not positive, or funny, but some sparked the gallows humor that is a survival mechanism for emergency workers, cops, and soldiers.

Baptiste, a character from my book, The Last Captain has a thought, 'Work Starfall, age in dog years.' That is a direct translation of my reality into my fiction; I have been heard to say, "Work the Mission, age in dog years."

Anyway, on with the list:

1) Responding to a call of an excessively loud party behind an apartment building. We are making our way through the top floor apartment when the officer in front of me walks through a beaded curtain and turns off his flashlight (the power was off in the apartment). He then starts to dance, chanting, "La cucaracha, la cucaracha," a pound and shuffle to his footwork like the best of a flamenco dancer. His partner clears the curtain, gasps, and laughs, shutting his light down as well. I entered, the carpet of the kitchen was alive. Cockroaches, millions of them, covered the floor, and hardly moved under the flashlight.

2) A pretty girl, breathing her last, the right half of her skull behind the forehead pressed upward from the bullet meant for her girlfriend's boyfriend, who had been flipping gang signs at the corner from the backseat of her car.

Blood has a distinct thickness, an aerated look when it passes through the skull and hair. The flashing lights of the emergency vehicles didn't help.

3) The entire front bumper of a minivan, perfectly balanced in the middle, hanging from a low, impossibly thin branch of a tree. The block looked like a bomb had gone off when the suspect, trying to escape police, hit the minivan (containing a newborn and his parents). The family was alright. The suspect too.

4) Smoke dribbling from the mouth and opened skull of a young moron who had been playing Russian roulette a few minutes prior. His blood and pulped brains literally dripped from the vaulted ceiling of the room.

5) A man who looked like Ichabod Crane, all fleshless limbs, running from me. He catches his foot on the chain meant to stop cars from entering the parking lot and flies through the air, arms windmilling, appearing to fall in slow motion.

"Oh, Shhiiiiiiiiitt!" he groaned as he fell to land on his chest and belly, knocking the remaining wind from him. I laughed so hard I had a hard time cuffing him.

6) A fat man trying to get home after being shot, dying on his neighbor's front stoop, asking everyone piteously why his mother wouldn't open the door when he knocked. He expired before his mother could be summoned.

7) An attractive young woman who'd run off the bus into traffic to catch the next one, her leg bent in too many places so that her ankle was next to her head, asking me, "Why can't I get up, officer?"

8) The end of a plastic bindle of dope poking from the anus of a very large Samoan. Him, naked, daring me to come get it. That fight was less than epic.

9) A twelve year old prostitute running to her pimp to escape us. Him trying to get away. Later finding the methamphetamine he was using to enslave her.

10) An elder suffering from dementia, her hair and pillow filthy, her indoor toilet unemptied, asking what she was to do, now we had removed her friends from the apartment. Her 'friends' were Sureños, part of MS13, and had been doing drugs, eating her food, and practicing her signature in order to steal her identity. She was so confused that she did not recall being shot by the same gang ten years prior for being a witness against the gang and its depredations.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

10 Things I Have Done That You Probably Have Not

Inspired by Scalzi, I decided to cobble this together:

1) Stood inside The Great Pyramid At Giza.

2) Walked in the shadow of the Parthenon

3) With ram and body, battered down the doors to suspect's homes.

4) Learned two languages foreign to me

5) Fired a drum-fed Thompson submachinegun till dry, reloaded and done it again

6) Arrested a murderer, for murder

7) Drank where Lenin did when in exile.

8) Been paid for something I wrote, and had said material published.

9) Had Walter Payton put his arm about my shoulders

10) Saved a life

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Things Fall Apart

As I have seen more than my share of urban decay in San Francisco, the images caught by this man's eyes sing to me.

Sad? Some of them.

Interesting? All of them:

Timothy Neesom's Detroit sildeshow

Friday, December 17, 2010

Last Night

The weather is supposed to be horrendous this weekend, so I hurried home last night, got on the roof, and cleared out the gutters in preparation for the torrential rains expected mañana.

This process involves my electric leaf blower, catalpa tree bean cases, a few hundred pounds of leaf litter, and the tiny gravel of my composite roof decomposing into a syrupy, black stew of rather odious character. Howling red poodles are also involved. The dog loves to run through the leaves I send flying into the back yard, barking insanely at the howling creature stalking the rooftop and scattering litter in his territory.

So, as darkness fell, I nearly fell from the roof. I then set about trying to clean the filth from my person, the dog sniffing me like I was ome portion of this thick black ichor usually spatters back into my face and lodges under the nails, giving me a pleasing (Or at least entertaining?) smell.

That task completed, it was discovered that the batteries in the camera were dead and that none remained charged the house (Damn you, Wii). I jumped on the moto, got said batteries, then rushed to the church, where I claimed seating for the Coolness, My Girl, and The Mother-In-Law.

An hour later my daughter's christmas pageant began. For the most part it was about as exciting as that sounds, but oh so wonderful to see her, face shining, singing along with her classmates.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is It Only Wednesday?

Had a rather startling offer of a new position yesterday at the day job. I have, after consulting with The Coolness, decided to take it, though it still has to be approved at the very highest levels in the department.

My schedule will change, in that I will be working entirely days, but weekends will still be off, for the most part... I will be doing a lot more real work, but dealing less with the asshattery of the public. All this is set to begin (hopefully) with the New Year.

I think my writing schedule will be a bit thrown for a few days, at least the every day portion, until I become acclimated to the requirements of the new position.

I am almost -dare I say it? excited about this.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Liars and Scissors

Damn, but this is something else! Thanks to Shawn C Baker for bringing it to my attention. The song is disturbing, the video like the best episodes of Twilight Zone:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Chameleon thru Ex-Pat thru Cop And Into Writing

No, I am not referring to having been an androgynous Pat, but rather having lived abroad. This post was started as a reply to the lovely Carolina Valdez-Miller's wonderfully evocative post 'Pieces'.

She writes freely and well of the pain and pleasures of living abroad as an adult, but didn't relate those feelings and that experience to writing overmuch. Here is my reply to that missing portion. As usual, I might have taken it too far.

Having lived in foreign lands for more than a bit of my younger days, I have to say that this does inform and relate to my writing: I think I understand what it is to be the outsider, to be the one who doesn't understand that which seems so clear everyone else.

I also know first hand the what opportunity moving elsewhere is to reinvent yourself. No one knows you; the fact that you might have been held back in third grade, or that your older brother beat up so many of his schoolmates you'll never have to fight, that the vip-vip sound of your corduroy pants accompanied you through much of your childhood, that you are no longer solely defined by the sports you participated in.

I believe such experiences make it easier for me to step into character. I know what it is to assemble a character: what is needed for it to be believable, what they might sound like, how they look, what they might feel about certain things in life.

I will always be from Peoria, Illinois. I will also always be the guy from Peoria who lived in Spain and Switzerland, and came back different. I suppose it is much like going off to university for those that have not lived abroad.

Entering my day job was an experience of this: Aware of how different I was from the men and women of most police departments and families, I made myself over. I adapted, trained, reached a point where the culture of cop is my own, all the while aware (and in a bit of pain) over the fact that it will never really be my culture. Working informants, interrogating people, walking a beat, even the little undercover work I've done have all benefitted from the learning experiences of my youth. Of trying to communicate with the unknown.

If this seems odd or false of me, I suppose I cannot argue save to say that, like all the most successful of survival mechanisms, it knows little of morality.

No matter where you go, there you are.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Getting Cool Things

A few weeks ago, I posted a video by The Forest Children and commented on the awesome of both video for and song itself, Cold Blooded. Friday, thanks to Shawn C Barker, half the Forest Children duo, I got their 2007 album, PsychoAngelic Crypt in the mail.

I have listened to it straight through twice already, playing several of the songs more than that. Conjure The Nomad is my favorite, but the whole album is certainly worthy of your attention if you're at all into dark rituals, demons, killers, and the imagining of said things.

Very good stuff, and I wonder at why I am the recipient of such generosity. Which leads me to the next cool thing I will be receiving:

Some of you may know that I participate fairly regularly in two or three chats on Twitter. One of those is the friendly, thoughtful crew at #UFChat, the subject of which is Urban Fantasy. I stumbled into it one day a few months back and really enjoyed the lively discussions and friendly atmosphere.

I come back to the friendly because there is so very little geek snobbery going on, something I cannot say about some of the other chats I have attended. Indeed, while I do not write UF, and have limited plans to ever do so, they possess an energy I find enticing. So much so that I have even asked the UFGirlz to attend, with limited success. They are, after all, a busy, busy gang (I am told it is hard being the awesome all the time).

So, enough of why I like to attend. Yesterday was the first time I had been on while a guest author answered the moderator's questions. The author, Merrie Destefano, authored Afterlife a book published by Eos/Harper Collins. The book, as described by Destefano, sounds like an SF novel with romance elements, yet has garnered a following among Urban Fantasy fans. The author is an intelligent and witty sort, open about her work. The chat went very well, and I came away interested in reading the book. There was, lucky for poor me, a drawing of participants at the end of the chat to see who might win a signed copy of Afterlife.

I won. I will be getting my signed book in a week or so.

I do no win things. I do not. In fact, I'm one of those bitter sorts who only grudgingly says, "Congratulations," when the loot is handed out.

But there it is.

And I didn't have to go down on anyone for either of these cool things.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bridge of The Broken Excerpt

Schrader, stuck in stop-and-go traffic, was bored out of her mind. Gone were the days of flitting from scene to scene in an AFV, her people ready to do violence on her behalf. Now she had to drive herself, and since the government had yet to fully define her position, she had relatively few police powers, including the fact her car had no siren she could use to bull her way through dense afternoon traffic.

Her passenger was not all that great a conversationalist, despite being a relatively good guy. She supposed that, like her, he was working outside his training, and therefore his comfort zone.

The boredom was shattered by the explosion. Debris shot skyward less than ten car lengths ahead, closely followed by the teeth-rattling sound of the detonation.

She slewed the car sideways, dropped it into park and had her handgun out before her passenger could even ask, “What the hell?”

Larissa didn’t answer the doctor, just forced his head down and scanned for threats.

A smoke trail drew a faint line from the second story of a building ahead into the line of cars she’d just occupied. The silence which followed the detonation was eerie.

The usual screaming cut through the silence as people slowly began to react to the incident. Smoke began to billow, drifting back across the vehicles stopped by the sudden violence unfolding before them. The smell of burning plastics and hot metal drifting in through her open windows made her nose twitch, put her in the zone like nothing else.

Moments slid by without a second strike, which meant either the ambushers were out of missiles, had destroyed their target, or were displacing for another shot.

It went against all her trained instinct to stay put while an ambush went on, but the more time went by, the more certain she was that she wasn’t the target, ‘And you’re certainly not geared up for combat,’ she thought, trying to reinforce the sensible notion she shelter in place.

A coilgun went off. From her front. She couldn’t see the shooter.

Another shot, this one sounding like a handgun.

A man appeared out of the smoke ahead, firing a carbine into the line of parked cars as fast as he could pull the trigger. More screams. People were starting to flee their vehicles, fleeing the sudden war zone that had erupted in their midst.

Schrader ignored them, kept her eyes on the gunman, who stopped shooting, gestured in the direction of the parked cars, then turning his hand to point in Schrader’s direction.

Another gunman darted into view between the first one and Schrader’s car, the launch tube on his back explaining the lack of additional missile fire. He read his comrade’s hand signal, began sprinting her direction.

‘Shit,’ Schrader thought, ‘Their target is moving this way.’

“Stay down, Doc,” she said.

“Where the hell you going?” Doctor Z asked, raising his head.

“Nowhere, just don’t want you getting plugged ‘cause someone mistook you for a threat,” Schrader whispered, pushing him down again.

Only two cars in front of hers the gunman slowed and turned into the line of parked cars, weapon at the ready. The first gunman reared into view in the background, mounting the hood of a car.

The nearer gunman fired once as he reached the far side of the line, his shot drawing a flurry of return fire. One round got lucky, spreading a thick red mist for near a meter from the back of his head. Brain dead, the man collapsed like string-cut puppet.

Schrader blinked, saw the gunman atop of the car aim, fire. She heard a pair of shots that must not have come close, as the gunman didn’t even flinch. In fact he reloaded and sauntered closer, still using the cars for his path.

It was the casual, careless nature of his walk more than anything else that engaged Schrader’s rage, ‘Ambushing- No, murdering people in the street like it’s nothing? Fuck that!’

Fighting the loss of control the anger tried to drive, she dragged her attention from the man to look for any further accomplices. Seeing none, Schrader pulled her upper body atop her passenger to poke the barrel of her sidearm out the window. She settled her sights on the man’s head as he stopped moving.

She drew a breath, the smell of Zoltan’s cologne registering even as she released the air through her nose.
Empty, she squeezed the trigger.

Her sidearm discharging just centimeters outside the vehicle jabbed needles of pain in her ears. She ignored it, gave a feral smile as her target dropped lifeless atop of the car he’d been standing on.

Again she checked for further targets. Still none.

“Who’d you kill?” the archeologist asked from beneath her.

She noticed he didn’t try and raise his head to check for himself, “Damned if I know, Zoltan.”
“You mean you actually shot someone? Across my back?” his voice was high. Not panicked, but not happy either.

Sirens began to wail, adding their noise to that of the screaming bystanders.

She chuckled, the archeologist wasn’t a bad guy, just very civilian, “Yes. Thanks for staying still. Stay here. Call the police.”

Schrader checked again for shooters before sitting up. Still seeing no threats, she popped the door and exited the car in a fast crouch, ‘I know the gunmen are dead. Now to check on their target.’

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blarg, But I Want To Be Done

Being sick is not a pastime I at all recommend. I have written a few hundred words over the last three days, but fear I will have to go back through and edit the shit out of it in order for it to make sense. Today I feel more human than I have all week, but I still have a fever.

Fuck, but I have things to do!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Feeling A Bit Better...

Listening to this. You might have heard this first one in any number of movies, namely Snatch.

And this second one, is the title track to House:

and this

The Doghouse

A Fever In The Blood

Still wrestling with the nine hundred pound trucker of illness, and losing handily. Now we've added fever to the mix. I am not well. I am not happy. I want to be done with this fast so I can; write, enjoy my family, return to work, make pithy-if-unread statements about society and my place in it on the blog, and generally get on with things.

Some good news on The Last Captain: End of January for word, either negative with notes or "I need some more time to dig deeper."

We shall see. Meanwhile, I shall try and squirm out from under the beast that's beating me down...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Ick Overtook The Theraflu

Not much juice for my squeeze today. Came home early from work, slept a few hours, need more. The Ick has me in its grip.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Ick At Bay, Sort Of

Theraflu is the shit, and has kept my symptoms locked down, for the most part. Of course I still feel as though I'm thinking through fog, so my posts (and my writing) may be a bit slow and disjoi-

Monday, December 6, 2010

Asterix and Obelix

My mother in law, going through some things left behind at her place, found several of my Asterix And Obelix books. If you aren't familiar, these large comics are about the adventures of two Gaulish warriors whose village is surrounded by the Roman legions who are only kept at bay through the village Druid's secret recipe for a strength potion.

They are some of the oddest, funniest comics ever written. Even re-reading them as an adult, I found many things that made me laugh out loud.

Just the names of the characters are often funny: The village druid is named Getafix, the talentless bard's Cacofonix. In Asterix and Cleopatra, the architect for Julius Caesar's Palace is named Edifis. In Asterix and the Cauldron, the sly Gaulish chief is Whosemoralsarelastix.

The artwork is brilliant, the stories engaging, and there is even some good history and even some latin in among the gags. The books are much loved in Europe, having been translated into numerous languages, but have had little success here.

I started reading them to my daughter on Saturday. Her delight was a joy to watch. That is the best critical review I could hope for, and perhaps I can use the books to stave off the time when I won't be needed for her to read a good tale.

Perhaps I will buy more in the collection, to try and stave off that day...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Ick Hath Settled In

Sweating. Writing.

On a bright note, I just watched this:

I can't wait. George RR Martin writes fearlessly. The coolest characters are not safe, nor are those who show the greatest moral rectitude. It reads like an insanely rich history, and I hope that he writes ten more in the series.


I haven't been following Mixed Martial Arts as much as I used to, and I'm not sure why. Perhaps it was watching the Last Emperor's defeat. Perhaps it was watching Jake Shields leave StrikeForce for the UFC and perform less well than I'd hoped.

I still appreciate the fights, just don't feel the enthusiasm I used to. Perhaps I just need to find a fighter I can get behind. I like watching Gegard Mousasi.

This morning I am watching StrikeForce Henderson vs Sobral II, which I recorded last night. The fact I recorded it and am watching it while I write this is an indication of my lack of attention. The one fight I look forward to is Scott Smith, who I enjoy watching fight. Hands of Steel is a man's fighter, with a chin to match. He's up now, so I log off.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Effective Mixing of Old & New

There is some very cool mixing going on in here...

This one might be less known, and the origin track less accomplished, but the dancing is sick...

And this kid is a genius-

Friday, December 3, 2010

Long Week

I'm not feeling myself today; waking with a bit of scratch in the throat and snot-packed head. I do so love the onset of the ick. I think I might curl up and finish reading the anthology I started some time ago. I hope to get some writing done, but the Ick and writing don't mix all that well...

Today's SciFiChat on Twitter was about the best of the decade in Fantasy.

I hammered my opinion into the heads of those listening. Namely: Peter V Brett's Demon Cycle, which started with the novel The Warded Man, is the bee's knees, and my pick for the best fantasy of the last decade.

Now, many might have a strong argument for George RR Martin's series, but Game of Thrones came out in 1999, so there...

I also plugged the shit out of Myke Cole, Sam Sykes, and Tim Akers, all of whom I have met and found cool cats Cole's books are not on the market yet, but Tim and Sam both have books available: Tim's most recent offering is Horns of Ruin and Sam's is Tome of the Undergates .

I didn't get to participate in Litchat as much as I might have liked, as work intruded. It was about a book, Writers Behaving Badly, which sounded quite interesting. Alas, so little time, so many books.

Last night, while corresponding with my agent, he spurred an idea in my head. I think it has legs. We shall see... First, however, to finish Bridge of The Broken and keep our fingers crossed about The Last Captain.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Asshats and Their Asshattery

My patience has melted away to vapor under the heat-friction created when reality meets the willful stupidity of certain members of the public. I am done with the bullshit of people who should know better, but refuse to allow reality any bearing in their lives.

To be more fair than they deserve: Natural selection among American civilians has, for the most part ended. We have a great number of safety devices, medicine, and even legislation that have, when combined, crushed Darwin's theory 'neath their weight.

It seems to me that back in the day, if you were taking stupid risks, then you were less likely to survive. A simple if/then statement: reality hitting stupid in the face and cleaning the gene pool of mess.

See, I'm at low ebb right now-

I didn't get this far gone when working the streets, because there would always be some guy who thought they could run or fight and get away with it. Their criminal activity would allow the occasional opening of the cage on my inner gorilla, allowing some of the pressure to escape in an orgy of high-order physical and mental activity.

Now I'm a house-cat. Most days, that's a good thing. Others, like this last week, it weighs on me like a millstone.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Posting Around The Things I Can't Talk About...

Well, last night at work was an exercise in insanity involving buckets, puke, children under five, and a mother acting as if she never matured past eight.

Needless to say, I'm looking for distraction:

The only superhero movie I've ever seen in the theater was the original Batman. I think I am going to have to see this one. I love the schlub-as-hero.