Saturday, November 25, 2006

Tofurky day in the new digs

I am still getting used to doing things with my Apple iBook G4, but I did manage to e-mail a couple of photos from my phone to my e-mail, and find/download an Apple-oriented ftp program with which to upload them to the frinky server. So here's a look at the back garden during an EXTREMELY rare dry moment, with the sun streaming through the bamboo by the tea house:

And does Tofurky have tryptophan in it? Possibly, but these guys are sacked because they got a T-day feast of chicken cold cuts and are now enjoying our gas fireplace (note Pepe in far upper right-hand corner):

We are slowly settling in and the house is great. Even with the record-setting amount of rain we've had this month, the house's relatively high vantage point and lots of southern exposure have meant we're getting much more light that the old house. And for those seasonally-affected disorderly types in the household, that's a very big deal.

Friday, November 24, 2006

NaNoWriMo DOA, et. al.

The move into the new house, she is accomplished.

Overall it went fairly smoothly, but still took so much of my time to organize that "Tipping Point" will have to wait for a while. Unless I write 40,000 words in the next week. Which ain't gonna happen.

No photos, I'm afraid, because my mighty laptop , Gigantor, is on the fritz. This just as I had decided that, rather than get a new TV to replace the ailing one we just donated, I would get a little gadget that allows one to watch TV on one's computer. Since Gigantor has a 17" screen, I thought, "that'll work for my purposes." Of course, as soon as I installed the gadget, the video card on Gigantor died. Do'h! I installed the same gadget on Lisa's little Fujitsu notebook, and it works fine. So at least I had access to football on Thanksgiving -- not that the games were worthy of much time.

So now I have to figure out what to do about Gigantor: fix it (for a hefty fee but much less than a new, comparable notebook) or sell it as is and buy something new. I have techy data to gather to make that decision and won't bore readers with the details. The upshot is that it's a huge pain in the ass to get photos from my phone to my little Apple iBook G4. So my posts will be prose-only for a little while. But at least I'm still able to surf and get e-mail and such.

Better news is that it looks like the old house has already sold! We accepted an offer last Wednesday and as long as the buyers' financing doesn't fall through, they will close on December 7. Hooray! Appreciation since we bought the house will allow us to pay off Lisa's student loans, do a few upgrades to the new house, and pump the rest back into our investments. Now I see why so many rich folks are real estate developers. The house gained about 40% in value during the 2.5 years we owned it. It's all timing and luck, though. Timing in that we bought before a big rise housing prices. Luck in that Portland's market remains strong as other cities have seen a marked decline recently. But if you have enough good timing and good luck, a person can grow assets real quick. Or lose 'em in a big hurry. But such is also true if you bet on the Miami Dolphins to go to the Super Bowl this year.

Well. Enough boring crap. More pithy posts to come, I promise!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"Tipping Point" excerpt

For anyone interested (Hi Mom!), I've posted an excerpt from my "National Novel Writing Month" effort. The novel is entitled "Tipping Point."

Click here to go to the NaNoWriMo Authors page where the excerpt appears.

The excerpt is only about 1,000 words, but if I chose a good passage from what I've written so far, after you've read it you'll want to read the rest of the novel. Too bad it won't be finished for another three weeks! (If then!)

Can I buy a vowel?

On her site, Argotnaut has a little question as to how one might pronounce "abo." Screw that. I want to know how to pronounce THIS guy's last name:

"USOC vice president Bob Ctvrtlik, who is overseeing the bid process, said the USOC would leave it up to San Francisco to decide what second options it might have."

That's almost as bad as this guy:

Mr. Myxlplyx

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Riding the Storm Out

I bet you thought the title of this post had to do with the 60 mph winds and six inches of rain we had here the first week of November. Not so! I am, of course, referring to the election results, and more specifically to the resignation of the accursed Rumsfeld. No need to bash the old boy in this space more than I already have. I'm confident that history will do the job more thoroughly than I ever could. So: So long, you arrogant, American seviceman-killing, civilian-bombing, surplus-spending, goodwill-squandering, prevaricating babble-monkey! OK. One last ode to Rummy, famous for answering his own questions: "Did I do an exemplary job as Secretary of Defense? No. Do I wish I'd done things differently, like provide enough troops in Iraq to do the job I was entrusted with and provide the poor bastards with enough armor to protect themselves? Yes. Will I let the door hit me in the ass on the way out? No."

In other bright news, we will close on our new house this Friday, and Argotnaut and I hope to spend Thanksgiving eating Tofurky in the hot tub, just like our puritanical ancestors would have done. Well, actually, I guess they would have denounced and perhaps hanged us for such blasphemous sloth. But we'll drink a toast to them just the same.

Which is the real turkey? You decide.

And also, my new novel, "Tipping Point," continues apace. I got a late start, which means instead of having to pound out 1800 words a day, I have to manage 2000. But actually I'm on a 2200 word-per-day pace right now. I think it'll be a good story, but it will also be pretty grim. However, given the good news today, maybe I'll give my beleaguered heroes a happy ending. I'll be sure to post an excerpt when I get a chance.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

NaNoWriMo Weather

It's November in Portland, and that means two things: the return of the Monsoon, and National Novel Writing Month.

The Monsoon has arrived right on schedule. Following a spectacular Autumn, Mother nature appears to have been watching the calendar and has delivered the rains right at the turn of the month:

And we in Portland can expect the Doppler radar to look like this for the next 4-5 months:

So. It looks like it's time to hunker down inside with a cup of tea and a novel -- a novel to write, that is. Unlike last year's effort, I don't have any idea what I'm going to write this year. But as it's already 2 November, I have to start today whether I have an idea or not. I've been giving it some thought the last few days, but all my ideas are more fit for short stories than a 50,000 word novel. However, NaNoWriMo waits for no author! If I don't have a rudimentary plot and some hastily sketched characters by about 4pm today, I'm just going to sit in front of the blank computer screen and start typing and see what streams (or plops or squeezes) out. Perhaps I'll do an embellished, roman a' clef about The Calamity. Hey, it worked for this guy.