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Rated: 18+ · Book · Biographical · #1203635
Blogging from a natural-born ranter.
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June 1, 2014 at 12:02pm
June 1, 2014 at 12:02pm
I do not talk to myself.

A few hundred years ago I worked in bookkeeping. Sometimes a company will write one check to another company, paying the costs of multiple things, which must be recorded individually. Sometimes the check will reflect a discount for paying quickly, too, and/or a refund.

Well. I had one of those checks to record for the client. It needed to come out of cash, and go into a supplies account, an account keeping track of discounts, and a few other things.

Each account had papers saved in a file cabinet. I was holding three file folders. (No, not people who fold files, stick with me here.) In comes my boss, sees me with two folders in one hand, one folder in the other hand, and a folder on my desk. As I planned out the entry I had to make I looked at each folder. My boss says, "Are you talking to yourself?"

I said, "Of course not. I am talking to the folders." I then discovered my boss had no sense of whimsy.

I think there are three things you require to keep going, from time to time. First, a sense of humor. You laugh, and other people laugh, too. Second, a sense of silly. You sit at a child's table and pretend to drink tea. Third, a sense of whimsy. This one is pretty rare. You are willing, Dad, to let your princess hold dresses in front of you while looking at a mirror, and you say, "I really need lipstick to make this outfit complete".

I currently talk to my cat. Unlike a dog, he doesn't even pretend to listen. A dog listens to your sounds, knowing that when they end it's time to lower the front end, vigorously wag the other end, and bark "It's my turn to play now". Even so, it's frequently the only conversation I have in a day, let alone an intelligent conversation.

Maybe the cat thinks it's intelligent.

I say "Does my Hunter boy want a treat?" From his point of view, I utter, "blahblo icket boogedy boo, Hunter, iggie oooh goo".

He replies, "Gimme one of those tuna treats. No, not that one, the other one. How many times do I have to tell you I don't like that first package. Oh, jeez louise, no, I want the other tuna flavor, I'll eat those if I really have to, but it's under duress, y'know!"

Then, I think I'm saying, "These are your favorite, I know. That's why you keep stealing them off the counter, and playing with the package. You better be careful, I almost didn't find the yummies because you left them under the couch with only a tiny corner sticking out".

The cat goes to the few treats on the plate. He's thinking If I get rid of these fast enough, I could get some of the good ones right away.

I'm thinking Wow, he really, really loves those things. Look at him gobbling them down. Thus, I continue to stock up on things he hates, while making a note to myself Don't buy those other ones anymore, he hates them.

Maybe the cat doesn't think it's an intelligent conversation either.

(With apologies to The Simpsons)



"It is never too late to be what you might have been."George Eliot

"I like not only to be loved, but to be told that I am loved, for the realm of darkness is great beyond the grave." George Eliot

"Maturity is overrated." Garfield

Gift from my Secret Pal, April 2007

May 22, 2014 at 4:31pm
May 22, 2014 at 4:31pm
I just spent over 2 hours on the phone with "Hello my name is Beel". I can't see my bill because I'm not the primary user. Yes, I am. E-mail addresses were added, passwords were screwed with, it was all supposed to be fixed. As per usual with Comcast, it's all still screwed up. I can't phone them because they seem to have broken our home telephone. I can't get anywhere on-line, it says "contact us", but none of the phone numbers work, guess why. I can't do chat because the damn thing just goes back to "contact us". I'm going to be contacting them with a really, truly, honkin' big stick, soon, I just need to find an address for Beel or Neil Smit, the president (no, he doesn't get capitalized, until he gets the companies' heads out of his butt) of Comcast, for whom no phone number, e-mail, or street address exists. These jackasses are perfect. I've had it with Neil and his pack of morons on parade, I'm looking at prices for satellite.
April 26, 2014 at 11:35am
April 26, 2014 at 11:35am
I just saw loregon's post offering her/his services here "OT: Free Proofread, Anyone?"  . That is so smart!

I'm a copyeditor, but I just merrily make a hard copy of something I want to work on (yes, hard, I'm set in my ways), and after it's done I e-mail the author (after leaving a review/rating) and ask if they want to see what I recommend. I make sure to tell them I work free here in the spirit of community. I also mention that "no" is always an acceptable answer, and if they'd like me to bug off and never darken their port again, that's okay, too.

It never occured to me to volunteer where people could see it. So, writers, I will do anything from a simple proofread to a copyedit. I will work with up to 20 pages of hard copy, and I post it in my port with a passcode only you will be told. After a few months I delete the item, just to save space on the site. I don't promise a timeline, but it's usually a maximum of four days before I finish.

I don't promise to work on everything requested, so e-mail me here with EDITOR as the subject, put a link to the item you want worked on, and if I choose your item I'll tell you. If I don't choose your item, it's just that are only so many hours a day, and I do work for money, too, so sometimes I just don't have time.
October 23, 2012 at 1:50pm
October 23, 2012 at 1:50pm
I have proof of my own to show that Mike Resnick is absolutely correct that writers are very kind to other writers when he says, in the intro to Tau Ceti (The Stellar Guild) that

{“…When I first approached each of our superstars--Kevin J. Anderson, Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, all the rest--and said I …wanted a novella… everyone politely declined…But the second I explained that I also wanted a novelette in the same book, with full credit on the front cover, from a protégé of their choosing, every last one of them instantly changed course and agreed to write for ‘The Stellar Guild’…” (This is nowhere near the whole quote, but I think you should go get the book if you want the whole thing, and I don't want to be rude to Mr. Resnick.)

My personal proof is a post from NaNoWriMo. A person said (paraphrased), "I'm looking for a new career now that I'm 50, and writing a novel sounds fun, I've never done that before. I'll send it to a publisher as soon as it's done, and finishing it in one month sounds like a great idea. Is there formatting we use here or does the publisher put that in?" The response to this person was (paraphrased), "If you haven't ever written anything before you might want to check out a book or two on writing, I think you'll be surprised at what's involved. I'm very partial to "whosits guide to writing". Good luck and happy NaNoing!"

No snark, no sneer, no "What are you, nuts?". Just a little advice, kindly meant, and pleasantly given. Yet more evidence that writers are by and large some of the nicest, kindest people on earth. No stomping down the competition, no "there's no more room at the top". I don't know if I've helped anyone to get to the top, but I'd like to think I've tried, or at the very least not prevented anyone from getting there.
October 13, 2012 at 5:59pm
October 13, 2012 at 5:59pm
I'm going to try NaNoWriMo.org again. I'm planning my novel, doing a little outlining, a little character creation (no, not a little person, a little as in 'a bit of'), figuring out the rules for FTL travel, and so forth.

My problem of the moment, however, is that I want to use/quote a line I first saw in a book by one of my favorite authors. The line is:

"What does not kill me had better start running".

I can't remember which author, which book, which protagonist, nada. I know the author is female (according to her blurbs), and the protagonist is a strong woman, someone you would not want to piss off, ever. I think it was the last or next to last book in a series, and I read it last year. Helpful, huh?

So, my question is: have you ever heard this expression used colloquially before, thus putting it probably in the public domain, a la 'have a nice day', or do you remember reading the line, and if so, where? I'm going to put the line in my NaNo novel anyway, I just need to know if I need to replace it before I send my deathless prose out to be published. If I can figure out where I read it, and I think the novel is worth a bit of effort, I might even ask the author for permission to quote the line, probably as a chapter title.

How's this for a reading test:

If you get to this point, and you make an effort to solve my dilemma, I'll send 100 gift points each to the first 50 people who respond, via a review. Also, for the first three people who can tell me where I read this (yes, I will be checking) I will send 1,000 gift points each. I am the sole judge of any given response, and will be counting by the order in which I receive the comments. Thank you.
October 12, 2012 at 5:49pm
October 12, 2012 at 5:49pm
How do computers know when it's a perfect time to crap out? My desktop, laptop, and then my cell phone all died on the same day. They did this just as I was leaving town, of course, so there was no time to get anything fixed, and I was left incommunicado for days! I'm sure people missed me terribly, but the computers just refused to accept any e-mail while they were broken. I'm pretty sure my voicemail must have been full, too. At least my Kindle kept working, I'd have been close to suicidal without that.

But, I still really want to know how computers know when it's the worst possible time for them to quit. Do we send out some kind of electrical vibration they can intercept? Is there somebody in touch with the computer, always looking through the camera, and recognizing from our body language that we really need things to go smoothly at that juncture? Are computers now self-aware little snots who don't know what's good for them because they CAN be fixed with a fire ax, okay, so they better wise up and get with the program beFORE I HAVE TO COME OVER THERE...

Ahem. Well. Anyway, I think things which behave as if they have a personality might just have one. I wouldn't mind this except the personality always seems to be a rotten one. Have you ever felt that a thing might be sentient because of how wonderfully it works, how it always knows just what you need? No, of course not. They only seem to be sentient when they're snotty little pieces of metal and plastic costing a fortune to get repaired by some some nasty little twelve-year-old who thinks he's so smart, just because I don't like computers, I have never liked computers, I WILL NEVER LIKE...

Where was I? Oh, yes, little Mister Smartypants, I bet his mama wouldn't even miss him, asking me what I did, like it's my fault the lousy thing is now an extremely inconvenient paperweight. So. One of my computers is now fixed, I am back in touch with my adoring public, and able to catch up on this blog, at last. I'm sure you all missed me, but you have to blame it on the computers, really.
October 6, 2012 at 4:48pm
October 6, 2012 at 4:48pm
I keep remembering that I still need to post my blog long about 1:00 a.m. So, I tell myself firmly, so you'll catch up tomorrow. You'll remember early in the day, and write something incredibly witty and amusing. Usually I just don't remember again. However, when I do remember, I can't accomplish the rest of the plan, "something incredibly witty and amusing". I'd love to say I'm so busy, so in demand, I just don't have time for "airy persiflage". Nah, sometimes I just ain't funny, folks.

Speaking of funny, that line from Rocky and Bullwinkle, spoken by Bullwinkle (I know, spoken by an actor) is one of the best I've ever heard, and far and away the best in a children's show. "...but enough of this airy persiflage." he says, without defining anything, prompting children everywhere to reach for the dictionary, or at least ask somebody. I'm pretty sure that would be impossible today, after all how do you abbreviate 'persiflage' so it'll fit in a tweet?
October 1, 2012 at 11:25am
October 1, 2012 at 11:25am
Yes, I'm going to try again. As if that's not bad enough, while writing a 50,000 word novel in thirty days, I will be continuing e-marketing classes, setting up a free-standing blog, a Facebook formerly-known-as-Fan page, a way to collect money from people willing to pay me for my editing skills, trying to get noticed by search engines once I've set up all this hoo-haw (and not before!), and trying to keep track of those friends I haven't lost by hibernating. Also, I would appear to have set up many, many e-mail accounts, bought many domain names, and then linked all of it together, while losing track of the vast majority of them, and having simultaneously lost the passwords.

I think I'm following in Christopher Columbus' footsteps: I set out to someplace I don't know how to get to, got to someplace I didn't know, lost at least a third of what I started out with, and got home not knowing where I'd been. At least I didn't do it with somebody else's money!

I don't know about you, but when I look in my dictionary under "brain dead", there's a teeny, tiny mirror. So, break time is over, gotta get back to work.
September 26, 2012 at 5:35pm
September 26, 2012 at 5:35pm
Amazon is phenomenal, really. I got a message that a purchase for my Kindle didn't go through. Okay, I follow the link in the e-mail on my Kindle, because that's where the message showed up. When the procedure didn't work I thought okay, I'll do this on-line, which makes more sense anyway. So they would have you think!

To shorten a really long, irritated rant, I tried:
manage kindle
manage my account
view my orders
change my orders
edit payment info
delete payment info
add new payment info
help (in every format they show)
contact us

and every other stinking link on the site. After experimentation, different browsers, going to different sites, ad nauseum, I determined that Amazon was broken in some way. Okay, I'll phone them. Lotsa luck with that. Not only is no phone number listed on their site, I had to search Google a couple of different ways before I found a site with unhappy customers of my ilk. Aha, at last a phone number. An 800 number, no less. Well, actually less.

The phone is answered by a recording which says, essentially, "No matter what kind of help you want , you ain't gonna get it here. Go look at our website, fool." Then the line goes dead. Nice scam, but I am resourceful. Did more searches, found a site with even unhappier would-be customers. A human did answer that phone. That, or really well-spoken chimpanzee. She was unable to understand "your website is broken, give me a useful contact method, now".

Nope, no joy from chimp girl. So, I asked for a supervisor. First you get that routine, "I am a supervisor", then, "the supervisor can't help you", but if you wait long enough (about eleven minutes) a new chimp comes on the line. She enunciates beautifully, too. Sadly, I heard the same stupid statement, "You must go to the website..." and I think I heard armpit scratching, too.

Searched some more. Found an 800 number for Kindle technical support. Got a human being. Sorta. Didn't enunciate as well as the first two responders, though. Still gave the same stupid routine, but I finally managed to get him to make a note "the...web...site...is...bro...ken...go...fix...it". At least he said he'd tell a grown-up

Maybe it'll work by tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm still compiling a list of phone numbers.

~~Image #4000 Sharing Restricted~~

"It is never too late to be what you might have been."George Eliot

"Maturity is overrated." Garfield

** Image ID #1217291 Unavailable **
Gift from my Secret Pal, April 2007

April 5, 2007 at 4:28pm
April 5, 2007 at 4:28pm
I got that damn bronchitis AGAIN!!! I'm better now, and the computer is up and running. The house is still a wreck, but I found The Betty Brigade, and what a relief! They sent two girls (young women, really, mid-twenties, but still...), and what a team they are. I never had that much energy in my life. They unpacked, and put away stuff, too! They organize like champs, have truly functional brains (both have science degrees from college), and accomplish more in a day than I could in a month. They even go up and down stairs endlessly. No matter what you tell the movers, boxes still end up two floors away from where they should be.

As the boxes disappear, so do my allergy problems. I found a new doctor already, I had to! She listens, and she seems to think I may have functional brain cells, too! An idiot doctor who will follow my orders is okay in an emergency, but one with brains who listens is worth any price. And female, too, so when I tell her where it hurts, she has one and understands! Now, if I could just stay healthy and never see her again...

I've given up on relating the saga of my drive to the new house in this blog. I will write it up and put a link to it in here, if anybody's interested. We bought a new bed, one of those sleep number deals, and I'm okay with giving up the waterbed. However, my number turns out to be 20, so I wake up in a hollow every morning and have to inflate my side so I can get out. We bought new bedroom furniture, and it should be delivered soon. I've contacted a builder to get a bookcase 35' by 6' built into my office, so some of our over 8,000 volumes (really, no kidding) can be put away one of these days. We bought a new, very fancy barbecue, one of those giant stainless steel monsters, with two side burners, a rotisserie, a smoker, and an infrared thingy; this is Bob's new love. I think it's rather overkill for two steaks or a three pound roast, but he's enjoying it. It will be great when we have summer parties, we can barbecue 30 hamburgers and 15 hotdogs all at the same time. Then again, how often do you need to?

I finally got the hang of diapering the cat, but the cat hasn't gotten into it yet. He doesn't realize he can't run flat out anymore, so he still tries to escape when he sees the fresh diaper coming at him. I stroll over and grab him, and then the real fun begins. Did you know cats don't actually have waists? I had to create a hookemer (technical term), like a garter belt, which attaches to the diaper and his collar. What he really needs is suspenders, but he hasn't got shoulders, either. The fun part was finding a length short enough to keep the diaper on his butt, but long enough not to strangle him. He also doesn't know he's wearing a diaper, so he keeps going to his box. I'm reducing the amount of litter slowly but surely, eventually he'll have an empty box to stand in.

I've also got the hang of cutting tail holes in baby diapers. I did buy some doggie diapers with a pre-cut tail hole, but for one quarter the cost, well, I've got a pair of scissors and some free time while I watch T.V. I did have to work out the location for the tail hole, another thing cats don't have is an inseam. Also, every time I tried to measure from his "back waist" to his "front waist" he peed on the tape measure. By the way, a plastic tape measure still cannot be washed in the dishwasher, the numbers come off. Who knew? Yes, I washed it in the tub with soap first, don't be disgusting! Anyway, the tail hole is in the right spot most of the time now.

The cat does not care for the new bed, he can't get out of the hollow, either, and the new bed is so high he can't jump up. He solves the hollow problem by sleeping on top of me now, not just alongside. We're getting stairs for him, carpeted, of course. Other than that, he's a happy kitty. He is entranced by the lake, he'd never seen so much hideous water in his life. He's not certain it can't get him, either. He's a bit confused by all the boxes in the house, too, but they're going away, at last, and the rest of his furniture is still all here, so he's suspicious, but okay.

I haven't found a vet I really like yet. The one at the local cat clinic seems to be a very unsympathetic dog person; big voice, says we're doing a lot more than she'd do for one of her dogs. So what? The Marmakitty is happy, not in pain, and we can afford it. I'm still looking for another vet.

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