A Beanstalk Review and a Parade of Other Notes

First, the good news: My novel Beanstalk and Beyond received a review from a publication that people might actually read, namely the Nameless Zine.

Reviewer Chris Wozney writes:

I am quite impressed by this blending of fairy tales and historical setting. The author is himself a wanderer, and he imbues this story with some of the compulsion a wanderer feels for the roads and ways that lead out to the world beyond one’s doorstep.

I will choose to believe he has read some of my hiking guides, rather than discovering their existence while Googling my name. No-shh! Don’t wreck this moment for me.

Now the break even news, everyone forgot I was going to run Go Action Fun Time at Rincon, including me. I found the commitment in one of my many notes this afternoon, but was relieved to find I am not actually scheduled for any game or event.

I don’t have an episode ready to go. (And I’m likely out of money).

If you go, give them my regards, and no hard feelings, OK?

Bad News: the primary purpose of an HP printer is to extort ink sales from the user. If they happen to successfully print a document along the way, that is an unexpected bonus. My HP Deskjet 3520 is skipping every six lines because it believes I am using counterfeit ink (I’m not). Multiply this user experience by several million, and you understand why Carly Fiorina will never be president.


The #30 for the Arizona Diamondbacks is currently worn by LHP and bullpen resident T.J. McFarland.  Previous owners of note have been pitchers Todd Stottlemyer and David Hernandez.

The Devonian period began 416 mya, and ended with a as-yet-unexplained massive marine extinction 319 mya. Curiously, the first land plants that evolved during thgis age survived the extinction. Also, of note, the first distinct insects apear.

Flowering plants will not appear until 120 mya.

Free Companies were the only clear victors in the Hundred years War.

Finally, authors Jamaica Kincaid,  and PJ O-Rourke.

Now you know.


How the AZ Cardinals and HP Printers are likely to break your heart. [1/4/09]

Regardless of how pathetic the NFC West was this year, the Cardinals made the playoffs for a reason.

Turns out the Cardinals are one of the oldest pro sports franchises in the country, and the oldest continuous pro football franchises. Founded in 1898 as an outgrowth of the Morgan Athletic Club in Chicago, their “continuous” and “professional status began in 1918, and they would be a charter member of the American Football League (the direct predecessor to the NFL) in 1920. They won an NFL Title in 1925 (by virtue of having the best record) and an actual championship in 1947 – the last time the franchise hosted a playoff game until yesterday.

Everything in a football stadium is farther away than you think.

If you’re ever labelling giant banners to hand across a football stadium, use compass directions instead of “left/right”.  Most stadiums and arenas use compass directions routinely anyway (north tunnel, west loading dock, east elevators, and so forth). That way, no-one guesses wrong about which way you face to determine left or right, and you don’t end up hanging two 30′ square banners backwards – like we did.

You can print about 125 pages with an HP 21 ink cartridge in an HP 4315 printer – kinda disappointing when the cartridge costs $25-30. I had two copies of my 170 page book made at Fedex for $33 – and I didn’t have to punch my own holes.

Now you know.