Sunday, November 30, 2008

generic blog post

Another great holiday weekend. Plenty of turkey. I worked today and yesterday. Good to have work on holiday weekends. Drank too much yesterday. Went to the Hideout and Ken had some mead and he gave me a glass for free, then I switched to wine, then to beer. Bad move. I am such a dumb ass. I had a massive headache and was in bed by nine. I am old.

Today it snowed and we moved firewood under the tree house and into the garage. Got to have dry wood.

I'm working on a science fiction story, a non-fiction historical thing I'm not too sure about, and a PHP database program for a customer.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

fire good, mmmkay?

It is 8:50 and I am have already built a fire and I plan on sitting next to the fire for the rest of the day. Last night all the girls were gone (Deb to work, Alex to friend's house, and Savannah babysitting) so I went to the sushi buffet and had the sushi. Sushi good, mmmkay?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

movie review: lawrence of arabia

Lawrence of Arabia 1962 * * * * Movie was really, really long. Peter O'Tool seemed kinda gay. (Not that there's anything wrong with that). There were no women in this movie, so no one was smokin' hot. ~ November 19, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Bitter End Coffee Shop.


I'm sitting in The Bitter End coffee shop waiting for John W. to fix the heater blower in my car. John dropped me off at Ali's, but they have Good Morning America blaring on the TV, and a bunch of the regulars are yacking it up. Can't read the book I brought with me around a lot of yacking. They were a bunch of older republican types, stressing the "Hussein" in the President Elect's name while complaining about how there will be riots in the streets, and someday everyone is going to "wake up" and realize the "old ways" are the best. Somebody get that man a white sheet and a flammable cross. One guy at least spoke up and said he voted for Obama, a redneck looking older gentleman, which completely ruins stereotypical assumptions I was harboring. One lady was smoking at the counter. The breakfast was reasonable and delicious. I had bacon and eggs and coffee and toast, and I wolfed that down and went across the street The Bitter End coffee house, a more high-falutin' fancy shmancy place to sip "fair-trade" coffee and feel liberal and elite.

There were five patrons here when I arrived but the guy who looked like Michael Stipe (from REM) who was at the table across from mine put on his green knit cap, packed up his backpack, books and laptop, and left.

He might have left because some fat guy in a tie (not sure if he is a Mormon, Marxist or Christian) is counseling (?) this other dude and they haven't learned about inside voices. Guy sounds like a douche bag, but I'm not completely annoyed. Yet. Even though I'm fairly certain he is full of shit.

At the table in the middle sit two young college girls. They are both wearing grey hooded sweatshirts. The tall brunette's sweatshirt has a "3" on it, and the word "Kath". I bet her name is Kathy. The blonde says: "someday we should get coffee and put butterscotch schnapps in it or something."

The Guy In the Tie is talking about Jesus and fairness, and how society cares too much about "fairness". He's an MSU fan. "The church is about stragglers." He just used the word "bedazzled" (BTW: the 2000 movie Bedazzled was better than I expected, and Elizabeth Hurley is smoking hot). I've never actually heard anyone use that word and keep a straight face. His fat absolutely certain face is straight. Conclusion: Douche Bag, First Class.

The college girls are just dishing dirt; even through Guy in Tie's high-volume psychobabble, I can just catch the words "boyfriend" and "she said" from their girls' table.

The guy in the tie talks a great deal about "the group" and about "the job of the house church". I think he might be some small-time charismatic cult leader. "If you want to follow me, this is the way I'm going."

Thankfully he just mentioned having to install something and having to leave within a half hour. He has turned his attention to the laptop and has stopped his yammering.

Guy in The Tie loves Mozilla Firefox.

Now I can hear the girls talking, because the loudmouth is hunching down to the laptop screen, and somehow this has made him find his inside voice.

Some of the girls' conversation: " . . . go out to the parking lot and smoke a cigar . . ." (EXPRESSO MACHINE NOISE) " . . . I'm kind of fine with moving to Colorado . . . (PREACHER GUY YAPPING) " . . . no mechanism in my body to digest meat . . ."

A bald guy in a pressed white shirt and blue paisley tie walks in. Businessman. He sits where Michael Stipe was sitting earlier. He reads USA Today.

Guy in The Tie has a buddy who lives in Columbus.

There are twenty-seven framed pictures on the wall opposite me, several prints of famous artwork.

"I saw him on Monday, he died on Thursday," says Guy in The Tie. "His wife died two years later. Their son, at the age of six, was an orphan."

Guy in The Tie is leaving! Praise Jesus!

But now the music (very soft guitar and female vocal) is playing over hidden speakers and I can't hear the college girls talk. I think the blonde knows I'm eavesdropping. She's glanced over here a couple of times.

As he's leaving, Guy in The Tie glances at the book I am reading. I brought "The Tyranny of Oil" but I haven't had a chance to read it, because I'm writing all this down.

The brunette shows the blonde something on her cell phone screen.

Now the sweatshirt college girls are leaving, not a minute after Guy in The Tie. Now what will I write about?

No one is talking. The tables here have wooden chairs with comfortable green cushions.

It's 10:14. Founders Brewery opens in 45 minutes. Do I head there next to wait? It is within walking distance . . . sort of.

The wall opposite me is divided by wood molding into eight vertical rectangular panels. Here are the pictures mounted on the walls from left to right.

Panel #1: A small Victorian era corset on a headless, armless torso mannequin. Something is written in French in brown stylized type on a crème colored background; picture of black cat captioned "Tournee Chat Noir de Rodolphhe Salis; restaurant scene in pastels with a man seated at a table, feet up on a chair, reading a book. A woman seen from behind in a little black dress is standing before the man's table.

Panel #2: Victorian era women seated across a table in an outdoor café, titled "Confidences"; 1920s café scene, flapper looking shyly down standing next to a man in a tuxedo who is looking at her, captioned "Les Halles 1937, Frank Horvat; black and white sketch of woman walking a poodle; black and white photo of gargoyle facing to the right.

Panel #3: Woman in light blue dress (hemline at the knee) seen from behind looking out at a body of water, shoreline in distance and cloudy sky above; print of Edward Hopper's 1942 painting "Night Hawks" (that night café scene? was redone with Marylyn Monroe, Elvis, Bogart and James Dean).

Panel #4: Street scene around 1900 in pastel, young couple face to face under umbrella, Model Ts parked on street titled "Springtime in Paris"; black and white photo of gargoyle, facing left; plaster sculpture of ear.

Panel #5: M.C. Escher Black and white pencil/charcoal sketch of eye; Poster of seven horses' rear ends in a stable, titled "Board of Directors" by Jenness Cortez; BW photo of passenger plane flying over Manhattan titled "Flying over Manhattan, New York 1946".

Panel #6: BW photograph of two 1920s flappers sitting at a small round table at an outdoor café; color portrait of two dark-haired women in evening dresses at a table indoors. Candelabra with lit red candles, women leaning toward one another across the table, resting their elbows on the white tablecloth. One woman drinks from a wineglass while the other turns to her right, thinking. Titled "Sunday eleven o'clock by Ramon Lombarte; M.C. Escher 1952 print "Puddle", a puddle with water reflecting trees, footprints around puddle; the "periodic table of sweatshirts".

Panel #7: Stylized painting of several 1930s partygoers crammed into an elevator. Short butler in foreground with flutes of champagne on a tray looks on in trepidation; BW sketch portrait of skull smoking a cigarette; M.C. Escher sketch of hands sketching each other from a piece of paper; stylized picture of two women, ostrich feather theme.

And that is a list of all the pictures on the wall opposite my table at the Bitter End coffee shop.

Now there are only three patrons here, all college students studying quietly by themselves: a stack of books, a backpack, and a laptop for each.

John just called. My car is done.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

generic blog post

Things are breaking this week, but I got a handle on it. Tuesday: Internet connection down. Troubleshot for an hour, but it was Comcast. Wednesday: Alex's saxophone dropped a paddle. Fixed with itty-bitty screwdriver. Wednesday: Heater blower in my car no workie. Troubleshot no joy, until I closed the hood and it came on. Brushes are bad on blower motor. Luckily one of my customers is a auto shop, so I can get it done for trade. Nice. Those blowers aren't cheap.

Yesterday I finished a short story (only 3k words) about a guy who is going to axe murder his wife. No worries, there's a twist at the end. It's a good ending and it ISN'T science fiction, horror or fantasy. I'm slowly making my way to the mundane. Oh, how I will spruce it up with all sorts of wacky words.

Today: Fixed one laptop at an old-folks home, picked up another that is hella-infected. The customer actually gave his credit card to the makers of Anti-Virus 2009, the spyware hit that's sweeping the nation. His credit card alerted him that someone was "buying drugs" with his credit card on the other side of the world.

Don't give your credit card out to things that pop up on your screen uninvited. Please.

I put Barack Obama on my junk-sender's list. The campaign is over. Stop asking me for money! I'm sure Joe Biden, Michelle Obama Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic are next. Damn. The campaign is over! Free at last! Free at last! The friggin' campaign is over. Now I'm going to ignore all politics and watch every episode of Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, Star Trek the Next Generation, Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Star Trek Voyager and every episode of TJ Hooker or something.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My connection is down! Make haste!

Yesterday my internet connection went down. It had been flaky for a few days. I have Comcast, as does my next-door neighbor. So I walk over and ask him if his connection is down, but his connection is up. We're on the same network segment so I know it has something to do with my cabling or modem.

So I take the splitters out of the mix and connect the modem directly to the cable coming off the street, still nothing. The "send" light flashes, the "online" light is out. I call Comcast and they tell me they are getting no signal on their end from my modem, and there are no reported outages. I try it with and without the splitter and get a different result each time on either side of the splitter. The modem is six years old. So I go out and get another cable modem. They aren't cheap. I plug that in, same thing.

Then my neighbor calls. His connection is down, as is his neighbor on the other side, who also has Comcast. Wish I had known that sooner. He says they won't be out until 2 PM Tuesday.

I call Comcast back and lo and behold; there are five people on our street with no connection. The truck was there within the hour and the connection was back up (with the old modem) about half an hour later.

(I wanted to go out to the Comcast guy and say, "Don't you realize Wrath of The Lich King comes out Thursday? Hurry! Make haste!") *

No big disaster because I've been wanting to get a spare cable modem to troubleshoot customers' connection issues anyway, so no loss.

Troubleshooting these things is a lot more fun when I'm getting paid for it. I love the Internets.

* I would never actually say "make haste".

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

travelling or traveling?

There are two ways to spell the word "traveling".

"Travelling is the accepted way to spell it in Australia. The things you learn writing a story about axe murdering.

Our Long National Nightmare is Over

Finally. Finally. Finally.

Monday, November 03, 2008

About Me

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I am the author of 8 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, Brain Giblets, The Cubicles of Madness, Booze and News, Get Your Zen On, Zen Happens, and most recently, Robot Stories. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at danmanning.com

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