Saturday, October 31, 2015

Notes from Twitter

Gotta make this quick.  I should already be getting my swim stuff together, and I have no clue what I'm going to do when I finally hit the water.

"Star Wars" Story Idea

I have a new piece of a story idea.  It started with a conversation I had with a friend yesterday and, in a larger sense, with my frustration with the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

Star Wars wallpaper via Screenrant.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Did Anybody Watch the Debate?

I always let the NY Times catch me up after the fact.  It's easier that way and takes way less time.  Plus, my friend said that they just yelled at each other.  I definitely don't need to watch that.

Some notes:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Poetry: Behold the Dark One

This week only, $.99!
I should probably never write poetry, and I should certainly never write it in conjunction with the Sneax & Elaina Emboo books.  Unfortunately, though, it's one of those bad habits that's both well established in genre and slyly addictive once you first give in to temptation.

Will I actually put this into Sneakatara Boatman & the Crown of Pluto?

I dunno.  I might.  I mean, my friend and West Point classmate Ray talked me into putting the last one, "Song of the Great City", into Sneakatara Boatman & the Priest of Loki.  It's not like it's impossible.

For now, though, this is just a draft.  It's an idea.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on it if you've got a little time.

Birthday Haiku Failure

I love you madly.
Stand gloriously burning
after all these years.

To which she said, “Oh!  You got me a candle!”

No.  But that certainly would have been clever.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dragon's Lair: The Movie

In case you are searching for a way to spend your money...

Don Bluth and Gary Goldman are coming together once again to bring the classic arcade game Dragon's Lair to the big screen.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Weekend Swim Workouts

I was in Albany most of this week, so I had some yardage to make up when I got home.  I feel like I've spent a lot of time in the water over the past three days, but it's been worth it.

Friday evening:
200 SKIPS*
15 x 100 @ 1:25 aerobic pace
100 warm down

After nearly two weeks out of the water, that main set was really rough.

Final Thoughts from the Rice Game

The go-ahead passing play at the end of the game is just terrible.  That's an ugly duck to the back of the end zone with three defenders in the area, and not one of them can get to the ball.  Beyond that, though, I think this was more-or-less the game that Army wanted to play.

Friday, October 23, 2015

5 Things on a Friday: Who's Losing?

I would like to tell you that I have some brilliant insights about the world this week, but the biggest news anywhere was negative--Joe Biden's not going to run for president.

Of course he's not.  He's been trying to decide not to run for months.

But this leaves us without a lot to talk about.  Thankfully, there are new trailers for Star Wars and Jessica Jones, and of course, we'll always have Jeb Bush to pick on.

Let's get to it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Army Football Preview: at Rice

That was an ugly win.  A win is a win, so I suppose I’ll take it, but it certainly wasn’t the kind of game that inspires confidence going forward.  About the best we can say is that Army got behind because of its own stupid mistakes and still managed to fight through and find a way to finish strong.  That’s fine as far is it goes, but they’ll need a better effort this week to take advantage of a Rice team that ought to be at least somewhat vulnerable.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Thoughts on Bucknell & Reunion Weekend

The Class of 1995 had our twentieth class reunion up at West Point this weekend, and it was a blast.  It coincided with Army's game against Bucknell, and despite what I said last week, enough of my classmates told me that they've been enjoying these write-ups that I guess I'm going to have to keep doing them for the rest of the season.

If you're wondering, I finally finished the scene in the new Sneax book that was giving me so much trouble last week, so from that standpoint I suppose I don't have any excuse for not working on the blog.  "Sneakatara Boatman and the Mystery of Mordecai's Monster" was only supposed to be a short story, but now it's sitting at just under eighty pages and 35K words, and I'm not quite to the halfway mark.  That puts it about on par with "Priest of Loki" and "Crown of Pluto," which means that I'll have to fill out that third book with a couple of short stories--as I've done with the previous books--but that's not some insurmountable problem.  What's an issue is that there is no way I'll be done with the new draft before the New Year no matter what I do because the story has run so long, and in the meantime, I have other writing goals besides just working on Sneax-stuff (I want that to be a German word, i.e. "Sneaxstuff").  I need to find a way to balance blogging and writing in some kind of orderly but aggressive manner.

We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Gone Girl

Have you ever read a book and had it be a humbling experience?  That's what's happening for me right now with Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl.

Look, I like to write. I am good at it. Well... better than most people, anyway. Far above average.  

This is not what I'm talking about. 

People ask me why I write or--more often--why I don't write full-time.  It's a lot like my swimming career.  I'm a good swimmer--and a decent triathlete--but I've never gotten particularly close to going to the Olympics or to being truly world class.  That's another league entirely.  That's not the same thing at all. What I do, it looks impressive until you compare it to the very best in the world.  It's as far from that as my typical weekend warrior master's-level training is to the average, everyday guy who's trying to learn not to drown. It's depressing.  It may also be worth doing, but it's as much a reminder of my failures as of my successes. 

I'm loving Gone Girl, but it also makes me sad because it is so good.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Army Football: Observations at the Halfway Mark

This will be the last article of this series for the season.  As I said in my note about the hiatus, it’s not you, it’s me.  I’m back in the water training for the Swim Across the Sound, and I’ve been working on the new (3rd) Sneax & Elaina Emboo book, and that stuff needs to go a little higher on my personal priority list.  The easiest, most efficient thing to drop was blogging and social media outreach, so that’s what I’ve done.  I’m going to have to re-activate my Facebook feed when I finally get around to publishing Sneakatara Boatman and the Crown of Pluto, unfortunately, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying the relative lack of mental clutter.  
Honestly, my Facebook feed had started feeling like an NRA convention run by Socality Barbie.  I just couldn’t take it anymore.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


I'm gonna take a little break.  I hope you guys don't mind.  I also deactivated my Facebook account if you're wondering.  It's not you; it's me.  I just need a little break from that shit.  Take that for whatever it's worth.

This is nothing personal.  I'm still on Instagram, Twitter, and Google+.  I don't know how much I'll be posting to those sites, but I'll be still there, and if you want to reach me, you can do it at one of those places or via email.

I'll be back, I think.  I just have other stuff that I need to work on for now.

Have a nice day.

Pics from the Game

Let's start with the obvious: if you took my advice yesterday and laid money on Army to cover the spread, you got your ass handed to you.  Ugh.  What a performance.  Duke's defense was more than up to the task of stopping Army's triple-option, and for the first time all season, Army met an offense that could make them pay for every single stupid mistake they made.  As it happens, this was a lot of mistakes.

Firstie AJ Schurr started this game but got hurt, forcing Ahmad Bradshaw to come in.  Bradshaw fumbled three times in his first seven snaps under center.  By the time he got his feet under him, Army was down by three scores.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Money's Been Moving the Wrong Direction

Prediction time: Duke (HudsonValley.Com)
Army is a 13.5-point home underdog against 4-1 Duke Saturday.

The game opened up at 11.5 points.

Army, which is 0-2 at home this season, has lost four games by a total of 16 points. The Black Knights have not lost its first three home games at Michie Stadium since 2008.

Look, I'm not saying that Army is necessarily going to win, but it's crazy that all the betting has been on Duke to cover an 11-point spread on the road.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Stray Voltage

This is me searching Twitter, looking for stuff that makes me smile...

Damn.  That run looks like it was awesome.

5 Things on a Friday: In a Tough Spot

Happy Friday, folks.  Let’s get to it.
[T]he Russian strikes have been mainly in areas controlled by other Sunni groups that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sees as a threat, including rebel groups trained by and aligned with the United States. That is because Russia’s strategic goal is not to destroy the Islamic State, but to prop up the Iran-backed Assad regime — and to force the West to back him as well. By destroying the moderate opposition, the world will be left with a choice between Assad and the Islamic State…
By eliminating moderate opposition, Russia is driving all Sunni groups into the arms of the Islamic State and the al-Qaeda-backed Jabhat al-Nusra — making them the only game in town for the majority of the population opposed to Assad, even if they do not share the terrorists’ radical ideology...  That helps Assad, who needs the Islamic State threat to justify his regime’s continued existence…

Thursday, October 8, 2015

D&D: The Five Laws of Ares

I don't know what to do with this one.  It came to me as a brainstorm earlier in the week, and at first I thought it was the basis for an article about an order of Sentralian paladins in the Wanderhaven Campaign Setting.  But I've not been able to think of anything else to go into the article, and anyway, building a militant religious order around the god of war seems, well, obvious.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Army Football Preview: Duke

I know what I said last week, but I wound up watching the second half of the game at Penn State, and boy, was it exciting.  I thought for sure that Army was going to drive down and score the go-ahead touchdown with no time remaining, but alas, we’re not quite there yet.  As I said last week, we’ve started to see glimmers of what this team can be, but to actually get there, we’ll need more consistent play from the offense.  It is totally unreasonable to think that you can put the ball on the ground seven times, lose it three times, and still win the game.  Granted, the weather conditions sucked, but still…  That kind of inconsistency will get you beaten every time.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Tri Training Log: 9/28 - 10/4 (Week 2)

This was a big swimming week.  That was by design but also by necessity because of the rain.  My goals for the week were to put in 6000 yards in a long swim workout and to get in two runs.  I managed to get the long swim done but flat forgot to go on my first run during the week.


I should maybe note that I am not actually training for any triathlons right now.  I am, however, considering an attempt at swimming solo across Long Island Sound.  This is why I've been so focused on swimming.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Cautiously Optimistic

I know what I said in my preview.  That crap notwithstanding, I still wound up watching the second half of today's game.  Wow, was it exciting!  I had two cups of coffee, put in 6000 yards in the pool, and got home in time to scream at my TV for forty-five minutes straight.

If you're wondering, I'm rocking a really heady mix of endorphins right now.

Comic Preview: Dr. Strange #1

With the movie coming in the semi-near future, it's no surprise that Marvel is also moving to put out some comics.  Dr. Strange is a character who hasn't always been able to carry his own book with overwhelming success--he sometimes struggles with sales depending on where the market is in relation to his particular backstory and skillset--but then, the same can certainly be said for the Guardians of the Galaxy, and it's not like Blade has ever been able to carry his own book.  And yet, those properties both of had movies that did well.  My sense is that if the Dr. Strange movie is as awesome and entertaining as everything else that Marvel has done, it'll do just fine.

Friday, October 2, 2015

5 Things on Friday: Joachim Strikes!

Happy Friday, folks.  There’s a hurricane off the East Coast, and as of this writing, no one is quite certain exactly where it’s headed.  Half the projections show it turning for DC, and half show it heading harmlessly out to sea.  This, of course, means they’ve split the difference on television and have it headed directly for New York City.  As I constantly tell my kids, nothing gets destroyed on TV as consistently as New York.
Speaking personally, I think the Football Gods are looking to smite Happy Valley.  My prediction is that the hurricane will hit full force in Pennsylvania just as Army is kicking off against Penn State on Saturday.  The game already projects to be a sloppy affair, and this small bit of advantage will put the Black Knights over the top, giving them their greatest victory of the twenty-first century.  Or else it will just cause chaos, which would also be fine perfectly fine.  As you can see, the track only needs to shift a little futher north to turn the contest into a water polo match.