26 February 2013

WooHoo, it's Trikke season. There are more warmish days in the 60 than coolish days in the 40s, sunshine, breezes light and stiff...time to play outside.

Now, I stopped riding my Trikke for the most part when I started walking for the first 3 Day I participated in; that was out of necessity, because I really needed to focus on being able to handle mega-miles, and it became apparent once my mileage was over 6-8 miles a day that I couldn't do both.

But now...I know I can handle the miles on foot once my feet are beaten into shape, so it's time to hop back on the Trikke, which is a much better cardio workout.

The thing is...I am nowhere near in Trikking shape. Ten minutes and my shoulders ache, my back hurts, and I kinda want to throw up.



There was hope. Rather than frustrate myself into never getting back onto a Trikke--which I live when I have the wind for it--I took advantage of a chance to get one with an electric motor at a pretty spiffy price. I got the lightest one (and consequently, goes the least amount of miles on a single charge) because you can still use it just like a regular Trikke. I can go without using the motor at all, I can use just a little bit of power to keep myself going and still get a good cardio workout, or I can go full tilt, motor only, and zoom down the street while I giggle endlessly.

I took it out for its inaugural ride this afternoon; the Spouse Thingy rode on his 100% body powered T12 Trikke and kept up with me when I used the motor on its light setting...which tells me he's in better Trikke shape than I am (and the bigger wheels on his Trikke help) but that we'll also be able to ride together because I won't peter out after 20 minutes. When he decided he was ready to head home, I cranked it up to full power and took off--and holy hell, that is way more fun than I should be having.

I still managed to use my legs to carve the Trikke back and forth, so I got a little bit of a workout even going 10mph, and I was a touch winded when I got home.

I am so going to have a blast on this.

And I'm going to want a 2nd battery...most I'll get out of this one is 6 miles on the high setting, and Thumpa wants to zoom.

For my heart health! No other reason, like being pretty much immature. It's for my heart...


25 February 2013

All right...the aforementioned little black and white furball so far has not thrown a temper tantrum about the removal of the second litter box. I don't think he's happy, but he's not issuing rapid-fire complaints at me.

Could be he's happy because there's been lap time? I've had more free time since Saturday when I uploaded the files for his book to the printer and distributor. It's already gone live on Amazon for the Kindle version, but it'll probably be a couple of weeks before the print book is available. I haven't seen a proof copy yet and the distributor won't release it until I do. And given that there's already been one minor hiccup with the cover, a proof will likely be delayed for a couple of days.

The hiccup really was a small one; the front cover image lapped over the spine by about the width of a hair. I could have told them to leave it, that's fine, but when I looked at the original file I spotted a typo on the back...might as well use the opportunity to fix that.

Because I opted for 90 days of exclusivity with Amazon for the digital version, it won't be available for the Nook for a while. I went with that because sales through Barnes & Noble only accounts for about .5% (that's point-five, not five) of our overall sales, and giving Amazon exclusivity for 90 days opens the book up to a few markets at a better royalty rate than we would have gotten.

So yeah, you in India...buy the book to make it worth it.

While we wait for the proof copy of the print book--there will be signed copies available--I'm taking a few days to do fun stuff, like taking my motorcycle in for repair (it eats batteries), and then getting on the Trikke (because I got a new one and it's RED), but I'll head back to work on Thursday or Friday.

I'll be suffering Starbucks withdrawals by then, I'm sure.

And before you ask, no, the next book is not by Max. I've had a project on the back burner for almost a year and want to play with it a little bit. I have most of the story swimming around in my head...b ut I don't have character names. I'm really close to assigning them numbers instead.

Or I'll name them all after friends.

Which one of you wants to be the bad guy?


24 February 2013

Well, that was a short and miserable experiment. While the kitties were thrilled to have a litter box in the bathroom, I was not. I could live with the litter tracked out of the box. I could get over the litter they were tracking into the bathtub, because apparently after one pees and digs around in the litter the bathtub is a mighty fine place to jump into. I could even live with the sudden assault on my senses while I sat in my office when Buddah decided to bomb the litter box.

But one of them--and I won't specifically name his little furry black and white ass--can't keep said ass in the box, and was peeing all over the bathroom wall, the side of the tub, and the floor. He's already got the biggest litter box I can find short of resorting to a giant storage bin (which won't fit into the bathroom) so they're back down to one litter box.

They'll survive.

I might not, if the little black and white furball doesn't like it. Cripes.


22 February 2013

Someone small and furry and black & white has been a royal pain in the butt lately, meowing his damned little head off around 4:30 every morning. We haven't been able to figure out exactly what he wants: food (of which there is plenty available in his dish), company (which he is not getting), to tell us someone in the neighborhood just got home from or is headed for work (we don't care, really), or that he's not happy with the condition of his litter box.

With the mockup with his new book cover
He's picky as hell about that box, but I'm not getting up in the middle of the night to check it, much less to scoop it. Since we're not feeding him more, throwing him a midnight party, or tell the neighbors to be quiet, we did the one thing we could think of: we added another litter box.

In my bathroom. Because that one will get scooped more than once a day.


This has thrilled Max to a ridiculous degree. I barely got litter into the box before he was jumping in it. And now...if I go in and close the door, when I open it he's there looking at me like how dare I take 2 minutes in HIS new bathroom, because GAWD, what if HE had to pee?

And Max? He likes to kick litter out of the box. It's such a joy to walk in there at 2 am with bare feet and have litter pieces imbed themselves in the soles of my feet.

I hope to hell this shuts him up at night. But I'm not counting on it.


17 February 2013

Out of context post warning.

Look, every kid who has a sibling knows that each parent likely has a favorite child. But your kid should never, not ever, be able to guess which child it is. Not when they're 5, not when they're 15, not when they're 40, not when they're 65 and sitting at the reading of your will.

And never should a parent actually tell any of their kids which is their favorite.



13 February 2013

The Spouse Thingy has to work tomorrow, so we decided to have Valentine's Day today. And what better way to celebrate anything on a beautiful, sunny day?

A nice long bike ride.

We geared up, intending to ride for a while and then stop for lunch, then ride some more. I got on my bike and fired it up, backed out of the garage, and it died.

And then would not start again.

Every time I tried, I heard =click=

Now, this is a PITA because it's not the first time in the last few weeks. It's like the third or fourth time. And we're already on the 3rd battery in less than 2 years in this bike.


So, in the shop it will go next week. And since we really couldn't think of anything else we wanted to do, we worked on cleaning out the garage.

Yep. Excitement. Thrills.

We got one whole corner sorted out!

I went back into the house after, and walked into the living room to see this:

This does not happen. For one, this is Buddah's tree; he claimed it and until recently, Max has respected that. I've seen him on it quite a bit in the last month or so, but not when Buddah is also on it. And I'm frankly surprised that Buddah relented his treasured spot on top.

I don't think it means anything more than they were plotting against us, and stopped when I came back into the house.

And no worries...our Valentine's Day didn't stop there. The Spouse Thingy did take me out to dinner.

Yep. I got a Big Mac at McD's,

He got Chinese take out and brought it along, but yeah...McD's.

We are so classy.


8 February 2013

Oddz N Endz # 9,4827,2874.34x/221

  • Stood in a shortish kind of line at Starbucks today; the woman ahead of me had a long and complicated order, which was no big deal, but I heard the women behind me chatting and one sighed, "I really should have planned this out better. I'm going to be late for work." Since I had no where I needed to be, I told them to go ahead of me, I was in absolutely no hurry. Cut to a few hours later when I went into Burger King: one of those women was working the counter, and remembered me. Instead of the small drink I ordered, she gave me a GigantiCup. After all the tea I had at 'Bucks, I'll be floating through the rest of the day.

  • While I was sitting there in Starbucks, Josh, the guy who owns Algood Ink sat down at a nearby table and was working on a piece of artwork. I don't know if it was for a custom tattoo or if he was just creaitng some art, but it made me really want to get my next tattoo.

  • I know what I want, I don't know why I haven't just gone and gotten it.

  • WTF is it with all the spam comments lately? I try to keep on top of them, but they're getting pretty bad, especially on Max's blog. I don't want to limit who can comment, but I have a feeling that pretty soon I'm going to have to cut off Anonymous commenting. I hate that; I hate limiting comments in any way, which is why I don't have immediate moderation on comments and have always allowed comments from everyone, and have never used word verification. That last one...I'll only go to that as an absolute last resort, because it sucks.

  • The Boy's Polar Plunge is coming up soon; in six days he's giving away a spiffy Bulova womens' watch. It's two-toned, shiny and spiffy, quite classy, and retails for a little over $300. If he hits his goal he's jumping as Princess Peach...and he's only $555 away from reaching it. I do hope he's already ordered his dress.

  • I want pizza.

  • But not like RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Sometime this weekend.

  • I kind of feel bad for whining about feeling cold when the east coast is getting slammed with another major, major winter storm, but...I'm freaking cold right now.

  • The Spouse Thingy is in the garage playing with his wood.

  • Yes, I'm that immature.

  • Back to 'Bucks tomorrow...getting very close to finishing this manuscript, plus it beats the hell out of housework, even though the house looks like it barfed all over itself and needs a good cleaning. If you promise to sit there quietly, you can come watch me work tomorrow.

  • It's exciting! Really it is!

  • Phfft.

  • Monday

    4 February 2013

    With red being the slowest, yellow being slowish, and green being the fastest...

    ...you can kinda figure out exactly when I realized I realllllly needed to get to a restroom.

    That was a l o n g .65 miles...


    2 February 2013

    Nike running app...
    Okay, I walked it because I just don't run, but it still thrilled me. I normally walk a 20 minute mile, and have no idea how the hell I pulled off a sub-15 minute mile.

    I got new shoes, so that might be it.

    Two of my other miles were at a 20 minute pace, the other two were at a 17:15 pace. So, yay.

    I have to enjoy this now because it may never happen again.

    I have to admit, too, that the other day when I went out for a walk (walking to Starbucks instead of taking the car or motorcycle) I realized that 1) I haven't been taking deliberate walks much lately, mostly because of weather, and 2) I really missed it.

    Also...I like walking a hell of a lot more than I do riding my bicycle, but I think that's largely because I'm not in biking shape. My heart rate doesn't skyrocket and I don't get to where I can't breathe and talk, but my thighs are on fire by the half-mile point and stay that way.

    Soooo out of shape...

    But...I'm ready for the NWM 10K next month, no worries there. And if I ever freaking remember to register for it, I'm not worried about the American Heart/American Stroke Association half marathon in May (as long as I have enough time to finish...) and the big one, the Avon Walk, isn't until September so I have plenty of time to get ready for that.

    For now...just going to enjoy the amazing weather we're having, and walk when I can. Only thing better would be if we were close enough to SF to go wander through Golden Gate Park on a whim, or even wander around downtown, but strolling around town is nice enough for now.

    Remind of that when I'm bored with the city streets...I was having a good time in February.

    And holy hell...it's February already.



    1 February 2013

    A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in Starbucks, minding my own business, when a kid who had apparently noticed me there a time or two asked what I was doing; his response to my answer was to brighten up and inform me that he had written an entire novel just the week before, with six more planned for this year.

    I was so impressed, I shared it on Facebook.

    No, I was not impressed. But today while I was sitting there in Starbucks again, working on Max's book, he was back, a rolled up manuscript clutched in his hand, and he approached me again, this time with an obvious mix of excitement and Oh My God I'm Going To Barf painted on his face.

    Would I please read his book? The only other people who would read it like him too much to give him an honest opinion. 

    It was twenty pages of double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, maybe 8,000 words. 

    Twenty minutes of my time.

    So I said sure, with the caveat that I would be honest enough to hurt his feelings, and he gushed that he would walk over to Taco Bell so that he wasn't breathing down my neck, because he hated it when people did that to him.

    I was grateful for that, because I hate it, too.

    I expected very little from it. I mean, the kid thought he was writing an entire book when what he had was a short story at best. It wasn't even a long short story. And the vibe I got from him...well, I just didn't expect a lot, but it wasn't going to cost me anything to read it.

    Thirty seconds after he bounded out the door, I was hooked.

    I raced through it, sucked into the story so quickly that I was afraid I had missed something, so I went back and read it again.

    His short--a story about a teenaged boy living in a world of black and white, whom everyone thinks is mentally challenged but in reality is gifted and sees the world in color--was exquisite. The narrative was tight but not so tight that it choked the wonder out of the way he wove his words together, and it was so lyrical I could practically hear the music in each syllable.

    I had very little to say to him on the critical front when he returned. He wasn't upset to be told that he did not, in fact, have a novel, but a short story. He didn't mind that I pointed out the misspellings and typos. He accepted everything I told him graciously and seemed excited when I told him I thought it was a phenomenal basis for a full length book, or that it would be the shining star in an anthology if shorts are what he really wants to write.

    Just keep writing.

    When I originally mentioned his initial approach to me on Facebook, it started a little bit of a conversation. I mused that anyone who got through high school English should know the difference between a short story, a novella, and a novel.

    I still think so.

    But this kid got through high school and had no clue; why, I don't know. It's less an indictment of him than it is schools today, I suppose, but the truth is that he has an enormous talent, and I was given the opportunity today to get a glimpse of it.

    Truthfully, I don't usually enjoy it when people ask me to read their work; there's a burden of expectation I loathe, and 90% of what I do read is fairly horrible and I have a hard time finding nice things to say to cushion the inevitable this-sucks-really blow. Of the other 10%, half of what I'm asked to read is largely outside of genres I'm familiar with, so my judgement isn't the best, even though I know a decent story when I see it.

    But this one? I'm very glad I said yes.

    And I hope he keeps writing and has the nerve to start submitting his work for pay.

    I had to leave after that, because honestly, what I was writing felt inferior to what I had just read, and I didn't want to push that out of my head for a while. The rewrites on Max's book can wait until tomorrow.