More “Careful What You Wish For”

For the last week I’ve lived the life I always said I wanted (within limts – these are the goals I could realistically hope for) a few years ago.

It’s fun – no doubt. But its exhausting. So whileI slept that off,my wife hoarked my laptop to do her homework, capping of an already considerable delay.

I rebuilt two of the five gates to my yard. That was never really a life goal, but I’m glad I got it done.

gate-perspectiveThe photo shows the other gate for contrast.

I attended a book signing and then went home ad slapped together a marketing survey for what I hope is my next book. Good News/Bad News there: The survey contained the info they wanted to see, but, despite selling out at the book signing, I’ve only sold 94 copies from national book chains – where most copies are sold. <sigh…>

My book proposal is a similar format covering the Coconino National Forest, which includes outdoor hotspots of Sedona and Flagstaff. But if the original sn’t moving, there’d be less appettite for a sequal.

The again, they made Starship Troopers II.

I’m fairly certain I was the only author at the book signing with an actual publisher who paid me (in advance). Everyone else was self-published.

I took ten copies and walked out with none, BUT I sold seven copies to people I already knew, including my stepmother who bought four copies because she’s a compulsive gift-giver. So it goes.

Then I had the chance to design and run a moving light show for the first time in two years.


That’s from the 2009 Suns Charity Dinner. The performer is Tamia Hill (wife of Suns forward Grant Hill, but equally talented in her sphere).

By all accounts it well (despite Suns players appearing briefly as “guest vocalists”).

DO NOT daisy chain DMX between Studio Colors and Mac 2000’s. You might think that because Mac’s have 3pin (and 5pin) DMX that this would work out like DMX signal is supposed to. That assumption leads to daring do on an A-frame ladder at 3am. Studio Colors do not play nice with newer DMX units. I dimly remember running into this barrier before – but I wasn’t in charge.

On a related note, I have long known from an experience so bad its comic now, that you cannot use Atomic strobes as 3pin-5pin DMX adapters.

The key to executing looks quickly with moving lights is to set useful groups and then map out all your positions first. Creating looks after that is just a few steps more (mainly gobos, and their FX) than doing it with conventionals.

Oh, and operating a Grand MA lighting console is not at all like riding  a bike.

I’m also pretty sure this was the first time in 3 years I had a competent ME helping hang my design who wasn’t myself.

I’m sitting in catering, trying to gulp down some outstanding salmon in the ten minutes I had to eat, when Suns owner Robert Sarver burst in the room, slapped me on the back (because I was closest to the door, I suspect) and exhorted us all that we should have fun doing whatever we do.

I’ve also been pushing The Game ahead (I may add a page just for that). I’m still plowing through a working revision of the rules. I have a formula for aging (and associated stat loss), rather than a table, and this pleases me. I also have an spreadsheet summarizing the damage system, which I’ve been wanting to fabricate for as long as I;ve been thinking I ought to just rebuild the damn gate.

Two good sites:

The Space Site for clear, readable extrapolations of the possibilities beyond our planet and

Technovlegy : a compendium of ideas from SF, and who came up with them first.

Now you know.


New Planets are so passe [11/14/08]

Good news/bad news on the writing front.

I saw my book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble (at Metrocenter).

And someday, I want to be this guy!

The nebulous deal to develop a science fiction role-playing game dissolved. I wrote a relatively broad primer on the scenario, mostly so I could keep the basic facts consistent, but also so I would have something to show this guy by December. I sent it last week, and recieved a very polite reply that he’s no longer in the publishing game. (Which is kinda why I sent him some stuff early. Silence always makes me nervous.)

Meanwhile, scientists have actual images of real planets around real stars. My scenario only dealt with stars within 12 ly from Sol, while the planets around Fomalhaut lie at 25ly. The methods they use to detect planets, even their fancy new ones,do not work well with our nearest neighbors. The only nearby star with known planets is Epsilani Eridani at 10.4 ly.

SF RPG’s are a niche market of a niche market. I may be sad, bt I have no excuse to be surprised.

I am told that the best way to consume psychedelic mushrooms s mixing them into an ice-cream shake. Of course, the guy telling the tale also told how he threw up afterwards, and then tried to walk across the swimming pool.

Do you care about the given name of Adam Ant or Sting? Here’s a list. Don’t bother telling him that Marilyn Manson was actually born Brian Warner – not Bruce Warner. 80% of the 70+ comments point that out, some with a bit of anger.

Finally, and probably against my better judgement, here’s how you can make glass in your backyard. [Thanks Mark – I think.]

Now you know.