Category Archives: Life

Long year…

So, it’s now April. And I haven’t finished posting last year’s epic from NaNoWriMo or started editing the next one. Hopefully I’ll have both done before NaNoWriMo 2016 but I’m not too confident. Real Life is getting complicated, and not just work.

Also, I need to keep this blog up to date. I’m paying for it, need to use it. Or cancel it.
And I’m thinking of posting my 2011 NaNo fic The Dragon Hunters Daughter to AO3. I wanted to turn it into a real story but that might never happen. And the other story I’m using it with (exerpts) is stalled because it required too much rewriting to make sense in that way.

State of the Blog

Just a quick one – The hosting provider I use (Yahoo) is spinning off their web hosting services starting this month. Not sure how that is going to affect this blog other than who bills me. If they increase the $$ by more than I’m willing to pay (I’m already overpaying considering all I really use it for.) I’ll be shutting this blog down and moving it elsewhere (Keeping it WordPress probably since I can export the whole site easily and move it). Not sure about keeping the domain name in that case. Probably should move that elsewhere also.

We’ll see. Too soon to tell.

One of those days

Ugh! Office politics!

Ever have one of those days where you do your job as requested, but someone else above you or in  a different department thinks you shouldn’t have done it that way? Maybe you inadvertently stepped on some toes you didn’t know were there? Because this job ‘task’ intersected with their ‘spear of influence’ ?

And now, you wonder if you’ll have a job the next day? And should you be polishing your resume, after 20 years working for the same company (in assorted roles) ?

 

That as me when I got home from work yesterday. Feeling the unemployment avalanche headed my way.

Not a good feeling. Maybe I’ll win the lottery and it won’t matter? I’ve got enough in the bank right now that I could spend 6 months job hunting. Not that I want to. I like what I do, just not the politics than I’m suddenly running into (The tech lead in my group left a couple months ago, with no replacement in sight, and now I’m getting hit with their stuff in addition to mine. Maybe this was why they really left? Office politics making it impossible to do their job? Just a wild guess.)

Quarterly Update

Yes. Still here.

Just a simple short update.

January and a large portion of February was spent dealing with RL (aka work) issues and a server meltdown/move over at TtH. But that’s done and we’re moving forward.

I’ve started writing more, though I have so many unfinished fics that it’s hard to pick one to focus on. But I’m getting there.

I haven’t started fixing up my NaNoWriMo 2014 story yet to make it postable, at all the usual places. Although I made the word count quota in time, the actual story? Maybe 2/3 done. So getting it ready to share will take some time. Hopefully by the end of March.

Gone!

That roaring sound? That was August as it flew by overhead. Not sure what quite happened to it when I wasn’t looking.

For those who’ve noticed… my Fic Update page is seriously out of date. My goal for September is to update things. Update the stories I’ve been working on or posted elsewhere so everything is in sync. Until then… please go to my Fanfiction.net and Twisting the Hellmouth pages to see fic updates. The links are to your right here. (the only thing NOT at TtH is actually my NaNoWriMo 2013 story. That’s posted here, AO3, and at ff.net only. )

Just a mo…

Very brief sexist moment. The Maxim 100 is out. Those celebraters of female objectification over at Maxim magazine have come out with their annual list of the “Hottest” female celebrities (as defined by them).

In a brief moment of SOMETHING, Couldn’t resist taking a look at the list. This being the Internet, it had tiny thumbnail pictures.

Hmm…

Recognized 44 of the names on the list. Recognized less than that of the faces, going by those thumbnails.

The other 56? No clue.

Surprised at how many aren’t “Pop Tarts of the Moment” (aka This year’s contenders for Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan’s tarnished crown as paparazzi target.)

Not sure which is worst. Recognizing that many (mainly actresses who’ve been in the news or movies/TV shows I’ve seen over the last 5 years or so) or not recognizing so many.

Am I no longer hooked into the pop culture zeitgeist? Am I turning into a pop culture dinosaur?

Is there anyone out there?!

Yearly New Year Rate Rant

Yup, it’s that time of year again. Cable bill went up, again ( + $8/month with no changes in service. Gee, thanks.). Got my first paycheck of the year and that FICA tax holiday cancelation (No! Not a tax increase. What gave you that idea?) – resetting the rate from 4.2% to 6.2% means -$XX a paycheck for me.

The decrease in my car insurance (car 1 year older) in the Fall almost offsets the increase in cable rates, but just barely.

 

And last month was COLD and my electric bill was 2X the month before (Of course, there were reasons – The previous bill? I was out of town for 1/3 of the month so I used less electrons. This bill? I was on vacation for 1/3 of the month but I stayed home and used MORE electrons. January has been a bit warmer than normal so the next bill should be lower. So it evens out.)

And I got a tax bill for some property I own elsewhere (I get 2 a year – one state property taxes (January) and one school taxes (September). Not a LOT of $$ – it’s basically a few acres of rocks and trees in the middle of rural USA. But it went up a few $$ this year also.

And I need a new blower motor/fan in my car (It’s worn out and barely pushes enough air through on its highest setting to keep ice off the windshield. ) That’ll be $500+ (My mechanic gave me 2 Choices – both approx. equal – $450 part + 1 hr labor or $200 part + 7+ hr labor. The cheap part requires the dash to be removed, hence the high labor rate. Yikes! ) . Need to schedule it. And it’s due for an oil change. ANd the battery in the key fob is dying and those things are glued together (and the dealer (BMW) charges a LOT of $$ for new keys with new batteries.)

And I don’t get pay raises (haven’t gotten one in over 4 years.) but I do occasionally get a bonus (last year the equivalent of 2 extra paychecks) that covers inflation.

So, I’m basically down income-wise this year. The only upside is that I have no plans to upgrade any of my personal tech (phone, laptop, tablet, etc.) until after my car is paid for (next Fall).

(And T’s spring tuition went up. And… my microwave just died… and… Argh!)

So… the year is off to a banner start.

Okay. I’m not poor or starving. And I have few vices. I’m “comfortable”, so no “pity party” here. But every year SOMETHING increases and I have less ( $100 on average) discretionary income every month to adjust my budget around. Every year I cut back on something. And still things go up.

OMG! I have no friends!

On FaceBook anyway.

I’ve been resisting Facebook for a while now.

I have my own blog/website (here), I have a (free) LiveJournal account I barely use, I have a Yahoo account, Flickr, and MobileMe. I even use AIM ( we use it at work). To say nothing of several Gmail accounts, and accounts on assorted fan fiction sites I post stories to. To say nothing of an assortment of accounts on numerous websites so I can participate in discussions.

I tried MySpace, wasn’t impressed and cancelled my account on it. I think.

Why add the uber social website, FaceBook? What got me to finally break down, stumble out of the hermitage, and sign up?

The T went off to college on Thursday. And she uses FaceBook. And now if she would just get back to her dorm from whatever orientation / party she’s at ( on a Saturday? Good Luck! ) and “friend” me ( I’m told all the cool kids do that – “friend” parents ) I won’t be completely, pathetically, friendless on FaceBook.

Note to the curious/compulsive “friender” : If you aren’t a close friend, SO, or family member, don’t expect me to be “friending” you on FaceBook. Though I might think about it if you’re a favorite writer or musician. Or favorite actress. Maybe :-). It’s an extremely exclusive list.

(Yeah! I’ve been friended! That was quicker than I thought. She must be between activities.)

RPF?

Real Person Fics. Writing stories using public figures ( actors, politicians, athletes, etc.) as if they are characters in some ongoing fictional universe.

Not something I get as a form of fic writing. (Sure, I’ve read a couple rpfs over the years but they just don’t work for me.)

It’s like writing an unauthorized biography of someone who is still alive and making most of it up based on a few known facts. Like a tabloid.

But, even if the public perceptions of most famous actors/athletes are the products of their agents/PR/media, often to the point that these people are playing a character based on themselves in public and we never know who they truly are, that doesn’t mitigate the overall creepiness I personally get from the idea.

I could never write an RPF myself. I value my own privacy too much to feel comfortable invading someone else’s privacy for my own entertainment. Public figure or not.

Update…

Not much writing over the last week (Surprise!). Worked a little on the next part of “Ms. Kite” – mostly outlining and roughing out the next part.

So, where was I?

Spent 6 days traveling (The T graduated from HS last weekend and I drove up to see it happen.) 2,370 miles in 6 days, mostly on the first and last two days with some minor travel in between.

Fun stuff.

And now some catching up at work. Major project due next week.

Music to write by?

Evil iTunes! Making me spend money on music!

Anyway, something a little different on the playlist today.

Jennifer Knapp

Never heard of her before. But then I’m not a huge/ any fan of most religious music.

Not bad. Very personal sounding songs, given the backstory. And kind of sad.

And the Christian imagery? Mostly subtle.

Fanboys begone!

I’m not a fan of that Internet extremist known as a ‘fanboi’ or ‘fanboy’.

What, exactly, is a fanboy?

A person who thinks THEIR thing (whatever it may be – Linux, Microsoft something, Apple something, Video game, TV show something, sports/team something, etc.) is better than all the other similar things to such an extreme level that they spend their free (and not so free) time bashing the other things that resemble theirs (e.g. Zune vs. iPod, Mac OS X vs Windows 7, Movie A vs Movie B). Their thing obviously came down from Mount Sinai with Moses while that OTHER thing bubbled up from the depths of some hell-place.

And they always feel persecuted. Contrary to all evidence. Even when they dominate the comments section of the blogs they haunt.

And then there are the anti-thing fanboys. They hate (and that’s the only word for it) something BECAUSE of who or what it came from. People who hate ANYTHING from Apple, because it came from Apple. People who hate anything from SONY, because it’s SONY.

And they are extremely unreasonable about it. Attempting to reason with anyone of these extremist fanboys? You’ll earn a fanboy label of your own as one of their hated fanboy targets.

One thing to note is that the fanboys and fanboy-haters seem to be in direct proportion to the size of their core base. So, there are a lot more, by an order of magnitude, MS (Xbox, Zune, whatever) fanboys spewing their fanboy-hate than there are Apple fanboys engaged in the same thing. And Linux fanboys? They are out there but they seem to stick to the backwater Linux fan places.

(Yes, that is of course anecdotal. I’m only referring to the web sites/blogs I frequent.)

And it doesn’t take much to get them going.

It’s basically making all the tech blog sites unusable for those of us who either don’t hate or who live in a world where multiple THINGS have uses. (We could drag politics into it and say the political blogs are crumbling under the same effect – crazy fanboys drowning out reasoned debate.)

I don’t see it dying down any time soon. Thanks to the way a lot of ad-supported web sites work (pay-per-view/pay per click) those websites encourage the fanboys. They incite them – driving away the rest of us.