Back from the Dead

This blog, that is. I’ve been fine – just busy. Really, really busy.

A rash of Rhino work coincided with the new hiking guide. I had to hold down my day job in the new economy (almost as much work – fewer people to do it) and hike while the hiking was good.

So a lot of things didn’t get done.  This was one of them.

What have we learned since May 9th?

Many things – too many to list here.  A handful of highlights:

No rebounds – no rings.

With blog updates, you get what you pay for. If you don’t pay the writers (I’m looking at you Examiner) all the jazzier new interface improvements won’t help you.

TV is the enemy of productivity – even more than cute animals or beer.

Twenty extra minutes checking the gear at the house can save you six wasted hours on the trail.

And clean you camera lens once in a while.

There might well be a real quality difference between lenses from your optometrist vs lenses bought online, but there can’t be a 250% difference. I’ll know soon.

Put the campfire out all the way out – every time.

Pride is expensive. It’s the difference between a couple hundred dollars over a week, or nearly a thousand dollars over three days.

Once you realize you’re screwed – get help. No one appreciates, or is impressed by your stoic failure.

“The body can do a lot. It’s the brain that gets in the way.” – John Wooden

Now you know

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You would think…

You would think that having gone to a big genre convention would send me back full of ideas and the motivation to turn those ideas into words. Yet my daily word count is embarrassing since the con.

You would think that a weekend without the kids would provide either pleasure or productivity, but it really produced only traces of either.

You would think this would prompt some introspective analysis from a borderline workaholic who normally loathes wasting time, but, that didn’t take very long.

I discovered Firefly on Hulu. That’s what happened to the better half of my weekend. That and we are trapped checking in twice daily on my sister’s large pack of large dogs, which precludes any serious activities out-of-town.

But I had forgotten how just about everything about Firefly stikes me as cool, from the pseudo-western dialogue to the toilets that fold back up into the cabin wall.

OK – my last reference to WesterCon 62 (I think…): Hand-out from the Writer’s Group Panel

Say it ain’t so: The 114th Skeptics Circle

And looking up in a similar format: the 110th Space Carnival

Now You Know.

Counterproductive Drunks

It wasn’t my fault. The desk lamp knocked my beer over into the basket of freshly washed laundry. The lamp, I suspect, was drunk.

drunken-lamp

Of course, so was I. Not only was I not moving laundry forward, I was actually being counter-productive, which is just gut-wrenching for a workaholic.

Still, not nearly as traumatic as taking time out of my life to watch the Suns kinda wave their hands a little bit as Celtic after Celtic dashed past them for nearly uncontested lay-ups. Did GM Steve Kerr laugh or cry? I couldn’t tell.

Memo to former NBA coach and now ABC commentator/curmudgeon Jeff Van Gundy: Basketball is supposed to be fun. This is not Hardball. Lighten up.

A few writing links:

Gary Westfahlon why so many SF predictions don’tcome true. [via Locus Online]

And Lynn Viehl, in her blog Paperback Writer, shares the 22 Immutable Laws of Publishing.

So say we all.

Campground reservations jumped 11% in January, and firearm sales jumped 28.8% (though an upcoming change in legalities may have prompted the gun sales).

“Yes, economic times are tough and it’s obvious that lots of people are facing financial hardships. But lots of folks also respond to such challenging times by realizing the things that matter most to them – family, friends and the outdoors – can be enjoyed without a big hit on the family budget,” said Gary Hovatter, deputy director for the Arizona Game and Fish Department [to the AZGF public information officer].

Here’s hoping that hiking is recession-proof.

I can replace both for the gates in my backyard for about $150 in materials, which is refreshingly affordable. Now, just getting it done…

And then drink beer.

Now you know.

Car shows, Meet-up rushes and wasting time in front of the TV [1/17/09]

So a brief account of things I learned over the past week, since,for various reasons, I haven’t made my daily-entry goal:

At the Barret-Jackson auto show, where I worked on the Ford booth: Shiny, metal surfaces such as diamond plate make it very hard to focus PAR lights. Lighting up cars is not rocket science. You can get a lot more finness manuevering a scissorlift with two hands on the joystick.

The Cardinals should have given the game ball to Carolina Panther’s QB Jake Delhomme for throwing into double coverage four times, which led to 4 of the Cards 5 interceptions. (The pass for the fifth was blocked at the line of scrimmage).

Once again, nobody picks the Cardinals to win this Sunday either.

Once I open a beer and turn on the TV – I am done for the night. I can do one or the other and still have a chance ofgetting something done before I go to bed. But both is a clear sign that productive activity has ceased for the day. (Clearly, that includes updating the blog).

Meet-up.com was not kidding when it warned meet-up organizers that there would be an early January spike in new members. The Central Phoenix weekly group went from 6 in a mid December meeting to over 15 on the first meeting in January.

The Central Phoenix weekly meet-up’s traditional format melts down completely with 15 attendees.

A great site for nerds who want to compare starship sizes from various fictional universes. They haven’t updated to incluce the new BSG ships, but the dimensions haven’t really changed from the orginal series (IMHO).

Was the season 4.1 premier worth watching? Yes.

Was it worth waiting over a year for? Not really.

Will I keep watching anyway? Of course.

It costs about $400/hour to rent a helicopter in Belize.

Snarge, n, the residue of birds that have collided with airplanes.

Now you know.