Friday, April 27, 2018

Number One...

...granddaughter at the White House...way to go, Tionna!

She's part of the Navy Ceremonial Guard that presents at all kinds of different official occasions.

This happened to be in honor of French President Emmanuel Macron, for whom there was a State Dinner this week.

So very proud of you, Tionna!

Getting close to wrapping up my current writing project, Last Flight.  Started as a short story, but has grown into a novella...I will not allow it to become bloated into a novel.
Of course the word counts used to determine the category of writing are somewhat arbitrary.

Saw something the other day that defined 5 different length categories:

1) flash or postcard fiction  (1000 words or less)
2) short stories (up to 7,500 words)
3) novelettes (up to 17,000 words) - apparently my Papa's Model T books fit here
4) novellas (up to 39,000 words)   -and-
5) novels (more than 39,000 words).

Who the arbiters are of such things I have no idea, though much of this no doubt gets kicked around by people who make money from it.

In my opinion, Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea is the definitive novella... garnered the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for Mr. H back in 1953 - and it clocked in just under 27,000 that's more or less my standard.

I'm at 21,000 now and definitely winding it down...should be available on Amazon soon.

I like the concept of novellas...they're a quick hit, not a major time investment; you can easily carry the story in your head; read it in one sitting; and read it again for clarity and to pick up what you missed the first time without feeling like you're wasting another month of your life.

A good novella has some depth, some character development, a coherent plot line, an overarching theme, but you're not bombarded with minutia and excess verbiage.

You'll never convince me a 200,000 word story couldn't have been pared down to its essentials and related in a fraction of that length.

Brevity is not just the soul of wit, it's the essence of good manners.

I can hear the proponents of spending days curled up on the couch, lost in someone else's reality howling in the distance...time to stop beating that drum and beat feet to the next subject...

Something simple...I've always liked this picture...
The Woman In White, for lack of an official hangs in our hallway, from the TV room to our the art deco styling and the color's just very soft and elegant...also inexpensive...wasn't a big ticket item...lovely.

Here's my next antique purchase...
That's a Blick 5 typewriter from the very late 1800's / very early 1900's...a real marvel at the time.  Note the lack of letter keys to strike the page...instead it had a "ball" that rotated when you pressed keys so the correct letter / number / symbol pressed against the page.

It's the same concept IBM used with their Selectric model introduced in the early 1960's, only Blickensderfer conceived of this 70 years before IBM did.

Plus he used what he called the "scientific keyboard", so named bc he researched the letters most commonly used in English words.  So his "home row" of "DHIAT ENSOR" were used 70% of the time.

By way of contrast, the QWERTY keyboard was designed in the 1800's to slow people down, so all those keys striking the paper wouldn't stick together bc you hit them too quickly.

Consequently someone using a Blick 5 with a scientific keyboard could achieve 70 words per minute, an unheard of speed at that time.

It was small and compact and cost $35, whereas competitors' typewriters were big heavy ungainly beasts costing $100 to $500 a pop.

If Mr. B hadn't died in 1917 who knows where his company might have gone...but without his leadership they folded within 2 years and were bought out by Remington.

The history lesson is ended...go forth now and bore your compadres with tales of typewriter feats from days of yore...

Got out on the links this morning by 8:30...
...beautiful sunny day, but cold...about 37 degrees when I started...but no one else there so it was quite enjoyable...

And I did a little better than last time...still not good, especially getting started...but got better as I went...
...even parred number 6, a short, 200 yd par 4.

Had one or two decent tee shots with my brassie, two or three decent shots with my cleek, and in general did pretty well with my mashie and niblick...
...putting was inconsistent, but overall a much better round than last week.

later, mcm fans...

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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Me And Some Of The Boys... together for some poker last night...that's me between Drac and Mummy...

Well maybe not...not a card player, but I've always liked that pic...

My week ended on a considerably less enjoyable up at 4:30 am Thursday morning and finally lay me down to sleep at 11:30 pm Friday night, and too many of those 41 hours in between were spent riding shotgun on an IT catastrophe.  I'd hoped by this time in my career I'd be done with the emergency all nighters but guess not.
At one point I commented to a vendor I'd roused from his pleasant dreams that I wondered if there was any way I could embrace a different reality than the one I was currently experiencing, but for that he offered no solutions.

Thankfully things are back together now, though cleanup from the fallout will no doubt stretch into the next week and possibly beyond.  Big fun.

Bought a pair of rabbit ears for my 1959 GE Slimline TV the other day...
...really improved the reception...or at least enhanced the vintage TV look I adore.

So besides trying to catch up on some sleep this weekend, I'm once again engaged in the process of questioning why I live in this state...more lousy weather ahead, but at least it's not the major winter storm warning people north of here have...'s mid-April folks...time for spring already...but a friend up north reports snowfall of 6 inches already with ice on the way...yikes...

They can have it...I guess cold, wind and rain here is acceptable compared to that...

What I'm fiending for is some of this...
Maybe next weekend...
they're calling to me...
Back to writing again...started on a short story, Last Flight...liking it so far but I'm only a third of the way into it...and even when I finish stories there are plenty of times I decide "crap!  it's all crap!" and so delete them...we'll see where this one goes.

later, mcm fans...

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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter...

...and behold our complex decor for today...thankfully the meaning of Easter exceeds that of colored eggs, peeps and the return of spring.

If you're a Christian, you know that...well, you should know that, anyway.

I worked with a gentleman who was raised in a particular denomination from a child and was a faithful "clockwork Christian"...every Sunday he was filling the pews with his family no matter what.

So I asked him one Easter season what the big yank was...why all the hoopla about this Sunday as opposed to all the others?

After fumbling around a bit about tradition and family and Palm Sunday / Maundy Thursday / Good Friday and the like, the bottom line was he wasn't quite sure.

He knew of course it was a celebration of the resurrection of Christ, but so what?

What's the big deal about that?

The answer is found in the resurrection chapter of the Bible, I Corinthians 15.

It's there the Apostle Paul outlined exactly what the big yank is:

The good news that saves us is Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, He was buried and then rose again the third day.

And while two out of three ain't bad, it won't cut it in this case.

In fact, Paul explains if there is no resurrection - if Christ simply died and was buried and that's that - then all preaching is vanity as is our faith.  Worse, we're actually a bunch of liars since we claim Christ rose again, and we're still dead in our sins.

"If in this life only," Paul writes, "we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."

Thankfully Paul did not stop there:

"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." (I Corinthians 15:20)

The tomb is empty, so rejoice in this Resurrection Sunday, the harbinger of the good news that Christ is risen as will all those who've put their faith in Him.

It's been a cold weekend...only 28 degrees this that and a project at work going live this weekend has kept us close to home...not much shaking.

Did watch a couple of good old favorite, The Rocketeer on Friday night...

...and then a very fine WWII thriller last night, Allied.

If you really take time to contemplate what people in the first half of the 1940's had to deal with on a daily basis it will humble you.

By way of contrast, think of the content of our daily lives today, where our biggest decisions typically revolve around business meetings, wardrobe selections and restaurant menus.

Back then they waged war in a global conflict against a great evil burning across the continents, the outcome of which was anything but certain.
As such they literally made life and death decisions daily.  Boot this choice and your life is over, and perhaps those of people you know and love.

Not a fan of Tom Brokaw, his leftist colleagues and the liberal claptrap they espouse, but he did get one thing right: they were indeed The Greatest Generation.  We owe a continuing debt of gratitude for a generation that has almost disappeared from our midst.

If you do happen to bump into a WWII vet, be sure to stop and say thank you.  You're free today because of their selfless defense of our freedoms.

later, mcm fans...

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