April 25, 2017
Waiting for the company that is going to steam clean my apartment. Someone was supposed to arrive between 9AM and 5PM and it is now just before 3PM. I have gotten a lot of writing done on HIGH TREASON but I still want to get the steam cleaning over with.
Other than getting writing done I haven’t done a lot. It has been nice to just concentrate on writing, and I have missed doing just that for a long time. However, I am single and I live alone, so if anything gets done, I have to do it. And that takes away from writing time. I still have to write a report on the Tucson March for Science event for the Libertarian Party but once I get started on that, it should not take long. It was a busy Saturday at the event but all the action can be summed up in a few sentences.
I didn’t get any figures painted yesterday as there were a lot of bees in the yard when I went out and I do not want to get stung. Bee sting allergies are in the family and I do not want to find out that I am allergic the hard way. The last time the pest control guy was here, he said that the bees were drones attracted by the pheromones left by the bees that had been building a hive. Drone bees have no sting according to the research I did, but I still do not want to risk it.
So, instead of painting, I have been preparing some of the figures. Right now I am working on some wolves but I am going to keep ordering more figures and a wide variety of creatures and people. Since I have no pets to worry about, once painted I can place the figures on an open bookcase.
April 24, 2017
I am going to start painting some TTRPG miniatures this evening. I have everything I need, I think, for certain of the unpainted figures I own. I want to set up a case for the painted figures separate from the unpainted ones. Maybe, if I can figure out how to insert photos in these posts, I will post pictures of some of my efforts. If I do, do not expect high quality at the start, I haven’t painted for a long time; except one figure and it was a horrible result. I am going to start with simple figures, animals and such without a lot of detail or variation. Once I get my hand back, I will do more detailed miniatures.
I did get some writing done today. Boy that was a surprise when I realized just how long I have been procrastinating on HIGH TREASON. I threw my old draft away because I had screwed it up by having Emperor Caroline alive in this book. And once I killed her off, it was easier to start over. My problem with HIGH TREASON is that I keep thinking about ELDER’S DILEMMA and not HIGH TREASON. I have to focus on what I am doing. I keep asking people to visit and comment on my writing but, as of yet, only my brother has commented and his comments have been in private emails. Like a great many authors, I am a bit insecure about my writing and want validation.
The weather is now the best it will be until autumn. Summer is coming and with summer comes high temperatures and rain. I like it when it rains, Tucson can use every drop it gets. It will be interesting to see how the rain falls on my backyard; if I can sit on the patio and watch the rain or not without getting drowned by the rainfall. When it does rain here, it is either a drizzle or a downpour.
One nice thing about this apartment is the way it is set. It is in the middle of a building, with the southern face somewhat shielded by another building, and completely protected from the eastern sun. The western sun hits a small part of the living room for maybe half an hour now, and so the electric bill should be considerably smaller since I should not have to run the air conditioning to counter the heating of the climate as much. I may have to use the central heat come winter and I have no idea how much that may cost but I may not run it at all. I am getting old so the cold affects me more than it used to, but I might be able to avoid having the heater turned on anyway.
April 23, 2017
I should have posted yesterday but after attending the “March for Science” (actually here in Tucson it was a rally not a march) I was just too tired. Myself and one other member of the local Libertarian Party set up at about 8 AM for the rally that was to start at 10 AM. Our location was originally in the sun but the organizers moved us to a shady place next to City Hall and between two other exhibits that were popular, one showing off and explaining reptiles and the other dealing with women in science specifically optics. The area was crowded and we were able to talk with many people but we also ran into many with closed minds. You know, the ones who believe that science means only what they want to believe and denigrate any who disagree. I know a lot more than they do about the climate change issue because I have not been afraid to honestly examine both sides of the issue. I will leave it at that. Trying to talk to people with all the background noise was hard and by the time the event was over, I was losing my voice. It was also hard to hear people talking to me but that may also have been due to all the years I was around jet engines. The event formally ran from 10 AM to 2 PM but people were milling around by 9:30 AM. I got to talk with a lot of people and I think I made my point, pure politics not science or pseudo-science, with many of them.
The bishop visited my church today. In the Episcopal church the diocesan bishop is to visit each parish in the diocese at least once a year. There are about 56 parishes in the Diocese of Arizona so he visits twice a year but one of them is during the week and one is on Sunday. Today was a Sunday visit. At each Sunday visit the Bishop talks with the children, using a ventriloquist’s dummy, named Dexter, but Bishop Smith is not a good ventriloquist as I can see his lips move. The kids pay no attention I think, they like Dexter. So do I, but I still notice Bishop Smith’s lips move.
There was no TTRPG game today, not yesterday. So I feel a little recovered from my growing hatred of D&D, but just a little. Once play resumes, I will find that my hatred will start growing again. I am buying a campaign setting, Harn from Columbia Games, and setting up to run a campaign using the GURPS system. I want to never play D&D, in any of its forms, ever again.
April 19, 2017
It has been almost 3 months since Donald Trump was sworn in as President and the world is still here and functioning. the sore losers haven’t slowed down in their hate and violence yet, but there is still hope. If Gary Johnson had won, things would be much better now. Or, given that the Congress is such a pain, maybe not. I can dream however.
I spent all morning running around buying various small items that I need, mostly at the Army and Air Force Exchange – I am retired Air Force so I can shop there. Tomorrow I have to do grocery shopping, and get the next chapter of GENERATION UPON GENERATION posted on my other blog site: christophercolesite.wordpress.com. And Friday I have a morning meeting with the Pima County Election Integrity Commission. Last night I bullied the chair of the Pima County Libertarian Party a bit and he got the letter to reappoint me to the EIC done. Once the Board of Supervisors acts on it, I am good for another two years.
It looks like I can finally start saving for the Libertarian party convention in New Orleans next summer. And I should even be able to save while sill getting TTRPG material for the campaign I want to run. I have decided to not do a SHADOWRUN campaign even though I love the system but instead I am going to use the Harn setting and the GURPS rules.
I joined another veterans group, this one based upon a squadron I was assigned to back in 1971 for several months. It seems just a place to swap war stories but I am getting to the age where nostalgia has attractions.
I am leaving in about an hour or so in order to play a TTRPG with friends. I am increasingly dissatisfied with the game system, it is a version of D&D, and the campaign setting is not to my liking but I am with friends and that is enough for now. I make no secret of my increasing dislike for D&D in any version.
April 18, 2017
I decided that I need to go back through all the books I have written on Elder and make sure I have everyone detailed enough so that readers can picture the people; I know I never described Elder’s wife Constance. I am not looking forward to this but I know it needs to be done out of respect to the readers. I will probably wait to do this until all five books are done, but I need to do it.
I am ready, almost, to start painting some of my miniatures for TTRPG. I have a place to do it and I just need a couple of small items and I am off and running. I like miniatures for TTRPG and I even like miniature terrain to help with the imagery when playing. Some of the players in my group do not like terrain, saying that there is too much chance of knocking it over or it interfering with play. I intend to have terrain for the next campaign I run regardless. I am already planning the campaign, I have thought about starting campaigns in the past year but decided to not start the campaigns I was thinking about. However, I am torn between two different campaigns and two different systems right now. I can start preparing for each one and decide which to run as I get more involved with them. One of the two is going to interest me more and that is what I am going to finish and run.
Tomorrow I chew out, once again, the Pima County Board of Supervisors. I know that they hardly listen to me anymore but I won’t stop. Maybe I can make a difference eventually.
Tomorrow is also the monthly meeting of the Pima County Libertarian Party. Since I have not gotten an agenda for the meeting, I presume that the County Chair has been so busy with work that we are going to have to wing it again. I prefer an agenda that I can read ahead of time and use to plan. However, I am not the Chair so my wishes on this matter defer to his necessities.
I have diabetes and my blood sugar readings have been bouncing around like crazy. Part of the reason is I forget to take my medicine on occasion, usually in the evening. But there have been times when I take my medicines and my blood sugar readings are crazy. For example, for the last for days the evening reading has swung (positive or negative) almost 200 points relative to the previous day. Morning reading have been more stable but the evening readings are what have been the craziest.
April 17, 2017
Happy Easter to all Christians and to all Jews I hope you enjoy your Passover.
In the words of Lilly Von Stupp, from BLAZING SADDLES, “Everything below the waist is kaput.” I have been using that line a lot lately. My knees hurt almost constantly, my left hip hurts often and my left ankle hurts almost constantly. I think it is the left ankle, and the way I walk because of it, that is causing my left hip to hurt. My right shoulder hurts as well, almost 4 years ago I fell and broke the bone in my upper arm and I had surgery to place a rod to hold it together. My shoulder has never healed right after that surgery. So it hurts. I sound like an old man don’t I. Well, I am old, I am 67 years old and from my years of military service, a lot of it working on various aircraft while kneeling on concrete, I have a lot of problems.
Now because of my hurts, especially my knees, church can be a pain. I am an Episcopalian, that is the Church of England here in America, and we do a lot of pew aerobics: Stand, Sit, Kneel. Bad knees mean I take a bit of extra time to do that and I complain about the pain but I do not let the pain stop me. I enjoyed the Easter service. Next Sunday the Bishop is visiting. That should be enjoyable as well, he is a good bishop. When the last Bishop of Arizona was getting ready to retire, a search took place to select the new bishop. The diocese selects the bishop in the Episcopal Church, unlike the Romans where the Pope makes the selection. I took part and of the finalists, I am glad we got the one we got. Bishop Smith is a good one. I look forward to his visits.
I really need to visit my parents graves, I haven’t done that in a long time. The church where they are buried did not set up the burial yard right and the grave markers have wandered a lot. The graves are for cremated remains not full bodies so there isn’t much in the plots to hold the markers in place. The newer section is planned better but my parents are in the original section and it is hard to find them. I want to take a rag and some Brasso so I can clean the marker for them, the church is supposed to do it, I set up a fund to care for their graves in perpetuity but the money never got set up and so the graves are neglected. So, I do not like going there and having to hunt for them. If I went more often I wouldn’t have to hunt so hard but I never think about that until too late.
April 14, 2017
Procrastination is no fun unless you have a lot to do. I do not remember who originated the idea but that is what I did today. Not exactly intentional but it happened. After checking email this morning and reading a bit of news from various sites, I got started on YouTube, for just one or two you know, and four hours later I realized how much time had passed.
I get up in the night to go to the bathroom and I also check my weight once a week on Friday mornings. Because of problems in the past, I now check when I am up ion the middle of the night so that I have something reasonable to put in my spreadsheet if I forget to weight myself when I get up. I did so this morning about 1AM and I remembered to weight myself at 7AM as normal on Fridays. Between the two times, while asleep and not eating or drinking anything, I gained about 5 pounds (2.25Kg). I would have thought that I would have lost a pound or two but I gained instead.
Once I have a couple more small items, I plan to start painting some of my miniatures for TTRPG. Once I am back into form I should be able to turn out 3 or 4 an hour perhaps more. I mention this because I am still playing TTRPG with friends but if they still prefer D&D in any of its forms for future campaigns, I will be spending more time painting and much less playing. After 40+ years, I hate D&D. Right now there are 3 campaigns going and all are one form of D&D or another. It is only my enjoyment of being with friends that keeps me playing right now and that enjoyment is fading fast.
HIGH TRREASON is coming along well, getting rid of the old version didn’t set me back as much as I thought it would. Having the old Emperor die before the start tightens the tension between the present Emperor and the heirs waiting for their chance. I think I can use that tension to good use to make ELDER’S DILEMMA better.
April 12, 2017
Been busy with Facebook talking with my niece and one of my brothers. I also signed up on a family website, the family being Cleghorne, the maiden name of my Grandmother, my Mother’s Mother. It seems I have some ancestral information that is not on the website so I am going to have to upload what I have and they don’t. The big problem is reading the handwriting of the individuals who compiled the data into the book I have a copy of. An argument against cursive writing, which I don’t use except to sign my name.
I do wish I could connect with my dead brother Dan’s first wife and kids. It was a bitter divorce and when one of the kids reached out to him years later, Dan acted like crap. Now that he is dead, my promise to not speak with the kids is gone but I have no idea how to find them. Maybe they are on Facebook and I can find them there. I don’t think Facebook all the time so it slips my mind.
A lot of the websites I visit have these video advertisements and often there are so many that it slows down everything else. I hate that. I hate it especially when I am trying to read an article and I cannot move past the first screen, or the screen keeps resetting, due to these videos. Video advertisements are a nice idea and for certain types of products or services they might be more useful than a traditional static one. But so many, and so often unneeded, gets to me.
The computer I am using now is getting old. The hard drive makes noises when I start up the computer, the computer disc drive is shot and the keyboard has certain keys that stick or otherwise need special care in order to use. I have a second laptop but I need to get Microsoft Office so I can continue to write. I have tried to translate an Office document into an Open Office document and most of the time the document gets corrupted. So, for the foreseeable future, it is Office I use. I am not putting Open Office down, when used from the start on a document it is great, in some ways better than Office.
Speaking of word processing programs, all the programs I know about are so complex and over done with features that they are a burden. Even those for “Home and Student” use have too many features for me. I wish there was something as simple as Electric Pencil was available today. But, I can’t find one as simple as I want.
April 5, 2017
I spent a lot of time getting frustrated today. Not this morning, I attended the Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting and it became hilarious. The chair of the Board is a woman but she did not attend today so the vice-chair, a man, presided. One Board member kept making his requests to “Madame Chair” out of habit. So the Board began making a joke of it. After the meeting I told the Vice-Chair that he should attend the next meeting in drag. The meeting took a long time and when I started to go to the bus company to try to straighten out my problem, I couldn’t right away as my monthly pass was void and I had to get change for the bus. Once I had the change, I went to where the headquarters was, and I had been told wrong because it was just a department of the bus company that was there. By the time I got home it was pretty much the end of the day. I sent an email to the company with my problem and I doubt I will easily get anything worthwhile back. So, I am frustrated at the government bureaucracy that runs the bus system.
Tomorrow, April 5th, is the birthday of my eldest surviving brother. Two days later, April 7th, it is the birthday of my youngest brother. They were born a year and two days apart. Thinking about them reminds me of the old Phyllis Diller joke: “The twins are nineteen and twenty-two. That is a birth I will never forget.”
The exterminator was by yesterday because of the bee problem. I looked at my backyard today when I got home and discovered a lot of dead bees and none flying around the hole in the shed wall where the cable company ran their cable into my apartment. I am going to have to sweep the dead bees up and safely dispose of them tomorrow. Dead bees can still sting if you are not careful handling them. There is a bit of a history of allergies to bees in the family so I am going to be careful.
April 3, 2017
I missed a few days again. I have to be more regular in this. Not really, but I want to be more regular in this.
Getting some slight grocery shopping done, a little at a time. I also tried to but a monthly pass for the bus and it fails. I tried Friday morning, payday for me, and it failed. I tried again today and it failed again. I have no trouble with my card anywhere else but the bus company, a government agency, is the only place it fails. And the bus company says it is the bank’s fault. I am attending the Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting tomorrow and once that is over, I will make sure that there is no problem with my bank and then go to the bus company headquarters and get them to fix this.
There was a bee in my apartment last night and this morning I checked to see where it could have gotten in through. The place where the cable company has a hole in the wall for the cables to enter my apartment is a hive it seems. I told the apartment manager and the bee removal company will be out sometime today. At least, that is what they said.
My church is giving hospitality to a women who has been in this country illegally for 19 years. As I remember, and I could be wrong here, there was at least one amnesty during that time. Plus, as I remember, the immigration law has a provision for someone who has settled here to go to a legal status as long as they act before INS starts to come after them. Why wait until panic stations when this could have been dealt with more humanely and effectively before now? I would hate to think that this is all showing off to demonstrate how good the people at the church are. Waiting until panic stations is not good.
I have thrown out HIGH TREASON and started over on that book. I kept one character in the book and realized after I started that keeping her would mean that she would be extremely old, older than anyone else in the story universe. So, I started over talking about her death earlier and how her son is governing the Empire. With Emperor Caroline’s death in office at an advanced age, the fears of her grandson and great-granddaughter become more real. I think it will make a better story.
I rarely watch TV anymore, my old TV broke during the 2006 Congressional elections and I waited until 2014 to replace it. Now I have a working TV but I don’t watch much of anything. There was one series that I did like, but it got cancelled last year. The series was a detective series based upon the historical friendship between Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle, it was good although not historical; the last episode had them save the life of President McKinley and the portrayal of Bram Stoker was totally off. I enjoyed it because it was well written and I could ignore the historical errors easily. And it got cancelled. So now I watch a couple of game shows and the evening news, and occasionally some old reruns. Maybe the next season will have something I can enjoy and watch from the start. I do not like dropping into the middle of a series show and not knowing what is going on. Which is why I will never watch a daytime soap opera, those have been going on for decades and I could never figure anything out as far as their plots go.