Sunday, December 9, 2012

Google stole half my phone!

I love my Google phone.

It's saved me over $200 this last year and a half, my internet connection through is better than dialup, and it's packed with features that I'm now addicted to.

That said, I'm gonna gripe about it now too.

I use an LG Optima S(Sprint) with a 4 gig SD card and for my provider. You would think that 4-gigs would be plenty of space to load a ton of apps. You would be wrong. I've got only a handful of apps loaded and it stays bogged down with only 10% of free (on the phone) space since I got it.

Most apps seem to demand that they stay on the phone and can't be moved to the SD card, which kinda makes having an SD card pointless. To add insult to injury the most demanding of these Phone-Only apps come from Google itself. It's YouTube app eats 4 phone megs. But it's chump change compared to the Google's Store. That started out as 400k when you uninstall it back down to factory settings, but as soon as you want to download an app, all of a sudden thrifty little Google store turns into Google play and eats 15megs, right off the top, and refuses to move to the SD card. But even that is small potatoes compared to Google maps that goes from 4megs at factory to 26megs after it updates to the latest version.

Google is the biggest memory hog in my Google phone, and you would think they would be much better about it. They now how precious and limited phone ram is, and they Hog the Hell out of it!

I rolled back all my Google builtin apps and my phone still works just fine, the maps get me where I need to go, my factory YouTube works just fine, and now I've got 70 extra megs freed up for other fun apps.

But it's a shame to have to do that. It's a shame that Google maps and Google play don't play well with the SD card. It's a shame that Google doesn't see this as a horrible problem that is literally sucking all the fun and productivity out of an otherwise fantastic product.

It's a shame Google keeps getting in Google's own way.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hunger games

Ok, so, I'm a writer. An author, if you will. Last year, the IRS qualified it as "Hobby income", this year it will qualify as a job, but just barely. I have been cranking out about a novel a year since 2001 and I have 7 novels that I've called my hummingbird series.

Most authors read, and by read I mean they read a lot. It's common for authors to read dozens of books a year, if for nothing more than to "keep up" with the trends. A large number of those books are assigned to them to be read by their publishers so that one in-house author can make an 'honest' recommendation/review of another in-house author's book. It's a kind of 'I'll wash your back if you wash mine' thing, and is pretty much mandatory at most traditional publishers.

As an Indie, I've never been asked to do such a thing, and I never will. Even so, I don't read other people's books.

I haven't read a novel in a decade or more, probably closer to two decades.
Sure, I read the paper, keep up on some science mags and such, but I haven't read fiction since highschool.

I'm dyslexic, and that single flaw slows me down a lot. I read to myself slower than others can read something aloud. But that's not really what holds me back. I have to proofread a novel, mine, somewhere between four and a dozen times in a year. That's my dozen novels worth of reading in a year, and it wears me out.

As I crawled out from under my decade-old rock and slough off my mold and moss, I get a few books for my birthday a few weeks ago, Suzanne Collins's "The Hunger Games".

Yeah, after a decade of editing my own books, I couldn't help but nitpick at sentence structure, typos, flashback placement and such, but lets put that aside. Lets put it all aside because no book is perfect and, with absolute honesty, nobody really cares about these tiny blemishes except the snooty, want-to-be elitist class that just point them out to feel superior. The most popular tweets and blogs are full of far worse offenses, and nobody cares. Nor should they.

I took a week out of writing to read all three, cover to cover. For me, we're talking 8-16 hours a day, every day, for over seven days.

I liked them, enjoyed them really, and just couldn't put them down no matter how many nitpicky 'flaws' my editor's I's saw. I now see why so many of my few, but growing, fans say my series reminds them of hers. They're not the only ones to see it now.

But that isn't the point of this. Again, I don't do reviews.

I noticed something change in myself that I didn't anticipate. Sure, the series is moving, but I'm not talking about that. There is a reason to read other people's books that I never noticed before. No, it isn't to give glowing recommendations to other authors that work at your publishing house, an often mandatory form of free advertising. No, it isn't even for the entertainment value, of which in this case was very high.

It forced my mind back into that of the reader like nothing else has. I couldn't help but drop the author/editor side of my mind and become the reader of my teenage years. That's kind of priceless.

My entire series had been written on the assumption that nobody would really read it anyway. I was writing them for myself and for the characters that lived in them, but nobody else. The reader never entered my mind.

I assumed I'd be a failure, like most authors are, then I'd swallow my pride, say "at least I tried" and throw myself back into some other occupation, preferably one that paid more than $40 a month.

As a reader, I noticed she's very visually descriptive, where I rarely am. I tend to have a rigid rule of thumb that the description should take as long to read aloud as it takes the character to look at it. A glance should be a few words. A study might take a page or two. Probably I should do more of that, even though I tended to skim the fashion and food parts of her story, other's probably didn't. I forgot that others can skim parts they care nothing about too. . . that other readers might need more, or even want more. In other words, I probably write too selfishly for my own good.

There's a lot I learned while taking this week off from writing and dedicating it to reading.

It was more than just an enjoyable series, I think it may have changed my perspective in a way that a decade of writing never could.

And the perfectly swirled icing on this Peeta cake was I got to devour a delicious story in the process.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Re revenue enhancements

Dear Mr. President,

RE: Revenue increases.

You can, if you simply do nothing to stop it, see an additional $60-400 billion dollars in new revenues flood into the treasury, each and every year, WITHOUT raising taxes on anyone.

Sounds impossible, right? Some sort of trickle-down voodoo trick, right?


According to a recent IEA report, the US can be energy independent within a decade and become a net exporter of oil a decade or two after that, thanks largely to new fracking technology (not Solyndra or GE Windmill giveaways). This single change in our trade balance with other countries can add between $60 billion and $400 billion in new tax revenues to the treasury, each and every year without raising anyone's taxes. All that is required of you, Mr. President, is to have the wisdom to stand aside and just let it happen on Federal lands too.

Allowing exports of natural gas (and oil a few decades out) would allow the US to start exercising the same international 'soft power' that Iran now enjoys with China's veto their oil has bought. This is the same soft power that Russia's natural gas giant flexes over Europe every cold winter.

Drilling until we export oil may well keep us out of the next "war for oil" in the Middle East, something worthy of that Nobel Prize, and selling to our friends in China, India, and Japan would go a long way to easing tensions in that simmering ring of nuclear-armed fire. The dispute over the ownership of worthless islands only took on 'Cuban missile crisis' status after oil was discovered in those same waters. But neither China nor Japan would think of going to war if their friends in Washington had an endless supply of millions of barrels a day, ready to sell them at reasonable prices. War is expensive, often measured in trillions of dollars, and victory is never guaranteed. All three of those ancient civilizations respect that pearl of wisdom our young nation tends to forget.

But it looks like the first act of our newly reelected Peace Prize President will be to continue his class warfare with a poisonous, partisan assault against the overwhelmingly reelected House Republicans. This will surely destroy any chance of bipartisan cooperation for the next four years, and free up his entire calendar for another 400 rounds of golf.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Republican should take a page from Obama and give out amnesty light.

Amnesty for the crime, (won't kick them out if they come forward) but not citizenship. Give everyone that turns themselves in, and passes a criminal check by being fingerprinted and DNA swabbed, a 20yr green card (revoked if they commit crimes) and, if they pay a $10,000 fine and follow the same rules everyone else must follow to become a citizen.

Back of the line, but in it IF they want to put in the same effort and time that everyone that comes from China and India has to invest to become a citizen here.

As a 20yr green card instead of citizenship, it should prevent them from collecting all the safety net perks that are bleeding budgets dry.

And it could be called amnesty because it does absolve them of the crime, but doesn't turn them into 20million Democrat voters overnight.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Space X Y Z

Space X, Y, Z

The space elevator gets a lot of play, nowadays. But it'll never really work. It has too many problems and relies a lot on technology that doesn't yet exist.

But the goal of inexpensive space is achievable.

How about this.

Think of electric subway tracks, or those electric toy cars and trains that use the same technology that get bought for good boys around this time every year.

Put the track down, as straight as possible for 50 to 100 miles in the least populated area, closest to the equator. The tracks aren't anything fancy like with maglev, and they don't even have to be as high-quality as those used for subways. They can actually be very cheap and flimsy as they will barely have to support the weight of a car.

The 'spaceship' will of course have to have wings, but none of its weight will ever rest on the tracks, so the miles and miles of tracks will be insanely cheap to build. Much closer to the toys than subways.

Now, imagine those toy racecar tracks again. Tie one end of a string to one of those cars and the other end to a paper airplane. With enough practice, you could get the plane to fly too.

That's close to what I propose, but not quite. There's still some rather obvious math problems if we stopped right here. The tracks that way would be incredibly expensive again, the car would have to be more powerful than a hundred trains, and the math goes off the rails soon after that.

No, what you do instead is flip the script. Instead of the car pulling the plane, the plane pulls the car along the tracks this time. This way, the 'car' only has to be big enough to stay on the tracks and conduct all that electrical power up the tether to the massive electric engines on the plane.

The length of the tether will allow the plane to fly straight while the 'car' zigzags along the terrain below until both reach escape velocity. At that point, the plane breaks the tether then goes into a climb. Its own momentum carries it most, or all of the way out of the atmosphere. Like the space shuttle, it would retain a small tank for maneuvering and to carry it into higher orbits, but all of the bulk of the solid rocket boosters and external tank is now gone. Replaced by an electric engine and a dozen powerplants connected through the grid.

You could even go 'SpaceX' style by leaving the atmospheric engines behind in a mother ship at the edge of space as a tiny rocket takes over from there.

We already have a lot of electrostatic engines that work well in the dense lower atmosphere. I think Dyson has built a fan based on this principle, and I know the Ionic Breeze is built around it. Using electricity to do all the heavy lifting will reduce the size and weight of the spacecraft considerably. It should use around a tenth the energy this way, per pound of delivered payload. That's a considerable savings.

The long track will allow for lower Gs and passengers instead of just satellites to be launched.

Of course, flying a hypersonic spacecraft this close to the ground for nearly a hundred miles has its own problems. Wind shears could be disastrous, the sound would be deafening for tens of miles in every direction, and it couldn't be piloted by human reaction times. Computers would have to control it all. But Google will probably have an app for that long before any of the track gets built : )

Sunday, November 4, 2012

EZ-Bake home heating and organic farming

EZ-bake home heating / organic farming

Did I get you with the title?


Every winter strange thoughts wander into my mind. Some of them get used in books. No, strike that, most of them find a home in my fiction. But some would never make those pages, so they'll have to be content with my little blogs instead.

EZ-Bake home heating / organic farming

Strange phrasing, right? But it tells you everything you need to know, really.

But let me spell it out.

EZ-Bake ovens, pre-lightbulb Ban, used a lightbulb to cook real food in 'toy' ovens for children (under adult supervision!) But with the banning of the Edison lightbulb, these toys had to get with the times and include real heating elements.

When I worked construction, we always had an EZ-Bake oven on the job. Just toss two lightbulbs into a metal toolbox, add in a few dozen cans or jars of soup, and by lunch it was always piping hot. Works great, no need for an expensive microwave that could only reheat one meal every 3 minutes (we never got more than 30min for lunch, so, that was at best 5 people per microwave)

Every winter, people spend hundreds or thousands on heating homes, a lot of them using electricity.

Stay with me: )

Now, think of radiant floor heating. They generally use loops of circulating hot water on the underside of wooden floors. Heat the floor, and you heat the room. Some use electric strips.

But you could EZ-Bake heat a floor too. But why would you, right? Why use lightbulbs to heat?

Well, legally speaking I wouldn't, mostly because they've been banned. But I just saw some Christmas LED lights going up today, and that got me thinking. Keep with me, I know I wander off the path at times, but I eventually get where I'm going. White is the most expensive LED, but reds, yellows, blues, and greens, the cheapest of the LEDs, grow plants better than whites anyway. And they all put out heat in addition to light. In fact, one of the problems with white LEDs that are bright enough to replace a 100watt Edison is keeping the plastic LEDs from melting. That's the big holdup. That's why they're $60-100 still. It isn't only the price of the LEDs, it's the price of cooling them too.

But what if that cooling problem had an easy solution? What if you didn't need to pack a hundred watts of lights into a tiny bulb, but could spread it out across a floor?

What if that overheating disadvantage was actually a goal?

LED radiant floor heating. Stick with me, sharp turn ahead.

In general, when LEDs (whatever the color) use 100watts of electricity, they put out around 100watts of heat (just like Edisons). As with the EZ-Bake example, that's cooking-level heat and not really good for plastic LEDs. Edisons and LEDs put out the same amount of heat per watt used, the difference is the LEDs put out 10 times as much light.

But to heat a house with LEDs would produce a lighthouse worth of light. That's the kind of bright that could be seen twenty miles through the fog. That's no good, right? That's just trading one problem for another, isn't it?

Hold on. Check your seat belt. Watch for signs.

Recap. We've turned the weakness of LEDs (waste heat) into an advantage for radiant floor home heating, but now we have thousands of watts worth of wasted light. We've turned the problem on its head again! This is worse that where we started... or is it.

Just wait. Let me think.

Let me think.

Got it!

Radiant floor heating is mostly a late fall/winter/early spring thing. That's about the time when summer vegetables become pricy again because you have to ship them halfway across the world.

Let's turn this wasted light problem into an advantage again.

We've got a lot of light from our EZ-Bake LED radiant heating system, it's time to put it to use. Shelves in the basement would be the most efficient use of space for growing vegetables, butterflies could do the pollinating (if needed). No pesticides. Totally organic, the crop could be sold to offset the price of electricity, or eaten to reduce food bills.

But you need not have a basement to use such a system.

Lighting shelves, like bookshelves of plants, could grow vegetables and heat individual rooms simultaneously, like how millions use space heaters today. Blackout shades would even let you put them in bedrooms, and still get some shuteye.

Crawlspaces could be put to work too. Imagine this. Paint the undersides of the floors bright white. String up the LEDs like you were hanging Christmas lights between the studs. Lay a 'floor' on the dirt below it, and put 6'x4' planters beneath it on rollers. Remember those jigsaw-like puzzles where they slide past each other as you shuffle them around to assemble the picture? Well, imagine that kind of shuffling going on under a house to rotate the stock. Of course you could simply 'plant' your crop in the crawlspace itself, but harvests would involve a ton of crawling around on your hands and knees. Ideally, you want enclosed systems (like basements and such) to control the bugs, pests, and rodents. Boxes on wheels and a hard floor seem fine for that.

The economics, if my math is right, are very compelling.

The price of heating should remain the same. It could increase 10%, but that's doubtful. In either case, the organic winter crop is FREE and hippie certified for maximum profitability: ) 24/7 lighting could really pound out some organics in a short period of time.

Final thought.

A lot of northern homes heat with oil or natural gas, so going EZ-Bake wouldn't work so well for them.

But lets not leave them out in the cold.

Did you know that a gallon of oil produces the same amount of heat, whether it's burned in a furnace or in a diesel generator... you know, those evil combustion engines.

That's right. Same goes for natural gas.

My simple idea is to do all the burning of these heating fuels in combustion engines instead. The electricity is pure profit, either sell it back to the grid, use it locally, or simply use it to power electric heating elements to heat the home faster and use up to 60% less fuel. The generators could be made for under $1,000 (Non grid compliant) and would likely pay for themselves in the first two years.

More strange thoughts to come.

What was in that brownie anyway : )

Friday, November 2, 2012

Experiments in rice

Step 1. Forget you were making rice in the crock pot and overcook the bagebas outo it.

Step 2. Be too poor to throw it out.

Step 3. Put a little oil in the bottom of Pyrex, smear a half inch of "rice jello" in, add a pinch of salt, garlic, cyan. Nuke till crispy.

Its a little like hot rice cakes meets cookie meets fried rice. :)

Failures in Brussels sprouts :(

My sad little Brussels sprouts ain't hitting on much this year :(

But the good news is it's Entirely edible!! And those big leaves are delicious when cooked like cabbage!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Could this spell the end of Amazon's Kindle?

Is Kindle charging US ebook buyers two different prices for the same book, depending on what state you live in?

This is a copy of my KDP 6-weeks Page with all the irrelevant items taken out.
gr ref net % list mb off del $$
09/22/2012 The Art of... B007O0FNQA 45 0 45 70% 2.99 0.79 0.00 0.12 0.00
09/22/2012 The Art of... B007O0FNQA 2 0 2 35% 2.99 N/A N/A N/A 0.00
09/22/2012 Patent Mine B001F7AJHQ 1 0 1 70% 2.99 0.69 2.99 0.10 2.02
09/29/2012 The Art of... B007O0FNQA 4 0 4 35% 2.99 N/A N/A N/A 0.00
09/29/2012 The Art of... B007O0FNQA 28 0 28 70% 2.99 0.79 0.00 0.12 0.00
09/29/2012 Patent Mine B001F7AJHQ 1 0 1 70% 2.99 0.69 0.99 0.10 0.62
09/29/2012 Patent Mine B001F7AJHQ 1 0 1 35% 2.99 N/A N/A N/A 1.05
10/06/2012 The Art of... B007O0FNQA 8 0 8 35% 2.99 N/A N/A N/A 0.00
10/06/2012 The Art of... B007O0FNQA 63 0 63 70% 2.99 0.75 0.00 0.11 0.00
10/06/2012 Patent Mine B001F7AJHQ 6 0 6 70% 2.99 0.69 0.99 0.10 3.72
10/06/2012 Patent Mine B001F7AJHQ 1 0 1 35% 2.99 N/A N/A N/A 1.05
10/13/2012 The Art of... B007O0FNQA 40 0 40 70% 2.99 0.75 0.00 0.11 0.00
10/13/2012 Patent Mine B001F7AJHQ 1 0 1 35% 2.99 N/A N/A N/A 1.05
10/13/2012 The Art of... B007O0FNQA 3 0 3 35% 2.99 N/A N/A N/A 0.00
10/13/2012 Patent Mine B001F7AJHQ 2 0 2 70% 2.99 0.69 0.99 0.10 1.24
10/20/2012 Patent Mine B001F7AJHQ 1 0 1 35% 2.99 N/A N/A N/A 1.05
10/20/2012 The Art of... B007O0FNQA 37 0 37 70% 2.99 0.75 0.00 0.11 0.00
10/20/2012 The Art of... B007O0FNQA 3 0 3 35% 2.99 N/A N/A N/A 0.00
10/20/2012 Patent Mine B001F7AJHQ 4 0 4 70% 2.99 0.69 1.49 0.10 3.88
10/27/2012 Patent Mine B001F7AJHQ 6 0 6 70% 2.99 0.69 0.99 0.10 3.72
10/27/2012 Patent Mine B001F7AJHQ 1 0 1 35% 2.99 N/A N/A N/A 1.05

Notice that 'Patent Mine' AND 'The Art of...' are reported twice each week.

It's very odd and curious to me. Isn't it for you?

Look closer at Both and you'll find that Amazon.USA seems to be selling the same book at DIFFERENT prices depending on which server farm it's being purchased through.

On the week of 10/27, 6 copies of Patent Mine were sold at .99 each, but someone, somehow, on Amazon was charged 2.99 that same week (Amazon owes him $2)!

But the flaw isn't limited to Patent Mine, it's also happening with my FREE book, The Art of...

Take a look at its numbers for 10/20 and you'll see 37 were @70% and 3 were @35%. I'd bet I'm not alone in this.

I looked back through my monthly KDP xls sheets and found that it seems to start around June of 2012 and seems to affect about 10% of all the books sold. Obviously, as you see from above, I'm not a big seller, so this is chump change, but be warned that the flaw is out there, Kindle users!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

E=MC2 is wrong!!

What if Einstein's E=MC2 was wrong?

Yeah, you know what, it is. Not the equation, necessarily, but the theory behind it, and quantum physics will eventually prove me right.

C=Light, and 2 is to square that.

This formula is fantastically accurate at predicting the amount of energy produced by destroying a specific amount of mass. This stunningly accurate math has been taken as proof that mass has been converted into energy. But what if it hasn't? What if the math is proving something else entirely?

Heresy I know, but hear me out for a minute. History is littered with great math seemingly proving bad ideas. They thought electricity was a fluid, for one. That heat was an element, and because the math proved useful, they believed the theory was right for decades.

A useful formula is not proof of a correct theory, it is only proof of a useful formula, and E=MC2 is wonderfully useful. I just don't think it proves mass is actually being destroyed.

Let me take a backward step, for a second.

Water is a wonderful example. If you put lots of energy into water, you can break down the molecule into hydrogen and oxygen. Those atoms 'seemingly' disappeared to a world that knew nothing of 'gasses'. Light a match, and you get most of that energy back (in a loud explosion) and most of that water returns.

Atoms are strange things to contemplate. I believe neutrons don't exist, as many of you know. Not that the idea of neutrons isn't useful, but it is also distracting, like calling Pluto a planet. Neutrons, if separated from the atom, quickly decompose into an electron and a proton after just a few minutes. This means that a neutron is, in actuality, a proton and an electron, not a separate and distinct particle of its own. And its 'neutral' charge doesn't exist either. It is equal parts positive (proton) and negative (electron) that are simply canceling each other out, giving it an illusion of neutrality. But why would I push to ban the use of neutrons? Because it keeps people thinking that there are three types of everything, one positive, one negative, and one neutral. But in reality all the neutral particles are is 'proof' that there's yet another smaller piece of this sub-atomic pie.

Back to E=MC2 and my hydrogen and oxygen example.

The energy released, the E, to me is like the neutron and Pluto argument all over again. The energy being released isn't in any doubt. It's the destruction of the Mass that I question. The energy could easily be released by a proton decomposing into its bundle of 'strings'. The 'strings', for lack of a better word, would not be detectable or measurable by anything we have today. So, to all measurements, the 'Mass' simply disappears, when in reality it doesn't.

Why does this matter?

It matters because, as we dig deeper into quantum physics, we're finding that matter is much harder to destroy than E=MC2 leads us to believe... but like neutrons, every time we dig deeper, dig smaller, we instinctively look for 'neutral' particles, when neutral simply means it can still be divided smaller. The destruction of matter isn't occurring, any more than water is destroyed when the gasses of oxygen and hydrogen are formed.

What does E=MC2 really mean?

It means that, if I'm right, forging protons and quarks and such from a mass of 'strings' requires far more energy than we previously believed. It would also mean that 'strings' don't bind as willingly as it seems, and could easily account for all this 'dark matter' that's left out of the universe. The energy is huge, C squared huge. That means that this extremely useful equation predicts the reluctance of 'strings' to form the kinds of structures that we call matter. This means that solo, free-floating 'strings' are much harder to detect than we would think, and are probably more abundant in the universe than even hydrogen is. A soup of unbound 'strings' could easily account for Dark Matter.

But this also brings up a deeper question.

Can 'strings' (assuming the ludicrous theory that strings are the smallest matter possible) be created out of energy? Or can they be destroyed? I still don't know. If E=MC2 is right, and I'm wrong, then strings can be destroyed. But I suspect they can't. I doubt they can be created either. But most importantly, I don't think E=MC2 has proven that matter can be destroyed... at least, not yet it hasn't.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Transreflective nightmares

Sad news to report:

5-23-2003 I bought my beloved NEC Versa Daylite. It was an OverPriced laptop that, feature for feature, was inferior to everything on the market with its $999 pricetag. At a grand, most laptops came with DVD, twice the HD, twice the Memory, twice the CPU, bigger screens, and still came in hundreds under its 999.

But the NEC was the only one in the market that had a transreflective screen, and at 10.4" it was also the biggest of its kind. Transreflective. That's a mighty fancy nerd word that still doesn't mean anything to anyone. It wouldn't be until the Kindle, six years later, that the world would have a similar parallel.

Its overpriced transreflective screen is a Daylite screen. This means it can be seen in full daylight, just like with the Kindle E-ink models. But unlike the Kindle's E-ink, a transreflective is Full Color. In other words, you get the full motion, full color and screen size of an iPad, With the readability and ease on the eyes of the E-Ink of the Kindle, Nook, and Sony. Transreflective is the difference between reading something printed on paper and a bright computer screen.

Without this overpriced laptop, I'd never have been able to put in the hours and hours and hours that it took to write the nine novels I have.

You see, I'm one of those that gets painful headaches if I do more than an hour of reading from a traditional screen. I wrote my first book wearing dark sunglasses and eating aspirin like candy, before finding this laptop.

It was a life changer. But, they don't make this screen anymore.

Nobody does.

Over the 9 years I've had it, the motherboard has smoked, literal smoke, 8 times. Yeah, it's had lots of problems, but I've kept repairing it because, like mentioned, the screen is irreplaceable. I've lost the Ctrl keys on the keyboard, yet I keep going. I put up with its slow processor and hampering limitations because of that beautiful, easy on the eyes, transreflective screen that has NO Backlight and give me No headaches or eye strain no matter how many hours I put in staring at it.

Today, I found out that, in a careless moment, some bug spray must have landed on it, and, over night, eaten into the thin layer of plastic on the screen. It now, and forever more, will look smudgy.

My irreplaceable. . . is now un-repairable.

This is a painful setback in my writing career.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

CAFE standards for children

I don't understand what all the fuss is over Michelle Obama's new CAFE standards for children. By following her new calorie standards, America will soon be able to save millions of tons of food that could be better used for making biofuel for Eco-friendly flights in AirForce One to this month's new vacation site. Creating EU-compliant carbon-neutral biofuel for the weekly junkets is far more important than making sure hungry children have enough to eat, anyone with an Obama bumper sticker will tell you that.

CAFE standards for cars have proven that government need only mandate a one-size-fits-all standard and the market place will, like magic, make it happen. So what if the child runs track or plays sports; like the SUV, if government passes strict enough fuel standards, eventually a hybrid will emerge and some student will 'evolve' to run a 200k triathlon on a pack of crackers and a hardboiled egg.

With these new CAFE standards in place on children, all we have to do is wait and watch the magic happen!

We should be thanking Michelle Obama for helping speed evolution along! Without imposing a new CAFE standard, GM would never have invented the Volt, and the Prius would never have been. Get off your lazy ass, Creator, we need to switch to hybrid children today, so that all those crops we waste on food can fuel our clean, carbon-neutral utopia future!

Perhaps, if reelected, Obama will implement a cash-for-clunkers where he will give drug addicts, smokers, alcoholics, the fat, and the out of shape $3,000 to stay out of ObamaCare or move to another country. I look forward to the day where the FDA can jail someone for eating too many calories at one time, much like we do with speeders. The test pilot is already working. FDA representatives have already prevented children from eating packed lunches that 'don't comply' with the new CAFE standards for children. We can't have ObamaCare without imposing these new standards on everyone. Perhaps we can apply it to our new emigration standards too. Go over a certain BMI and lose your citizenship!

But the brilliance doesn't end there. Without all those excess calories, the children of the future will be much easier to control. It will soon be as rare to find a child misbehaving as it is to find a Yugo speeding. Soon, all that children will have the energy for is playing on video games and napping on the couch. Michelle is, by far, the most brilliant first lady we've ever had, and you all should be ashamed of yourselves for criticizing her for imposing CAFE standards on your children. What are you, a bunch of racists!

Hope and change! Hope and change!

. . . can I get my free. ObamaPhone now?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Greedy green scams.

See, I've been saying this for a while about all these green scams.

I'm a fan of alternatives, they feature in most of my books. But I'm realistic too, ain't none of them are workable...yet, and likely never will be.

Its nice Europe is picking up on the scam.

We are told that mittens is for the rich, but dems are the ones that rammed this gift to the rich through Congress, and similar punish the poor solar panels and windmills into law.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Word Macro for analyzing dialog ratios in chapters

Here's a fun WORD macro for the writers out there.

Most of us are curious about how much of a chapter is dialog. You don't want it too thick with descriptions, and dialog is, lets face it, the juicy stuff that readers like. It's very useful to see what kind of dialog to text ratio there is, and this little gem does it.

Now, a few warnings.

First, you need to know how it defines a chapter. It looks at where the cursor is, then scrolls up until it finds a manual page break. If you don't separate your chapters this way, it won't work for you. It then scrolls down until it finds another manual page break. So, if you run it on the first chapter and there isn't a page break above or below where the cursor is, it'll get confused. Easy fix, just add a few manual page breaks and you're fine.

It'll get confused if you don't have any quotes in it at all. And, it'll report estimates, not exact word counts. So, just use it as a rough guideline, not an exact word counting tool.

Lastly, it doesn't understand what dialog is exactly, so it just counts the words that fall between two quotes. This works fine for most styles, but when your quotes go beyond a paragraph, it can confuse the poor thing.

Example: (I'll underline the dialog AS it Counts them)
Jack said, "Bla bla bla." And was slapped. Then he said, "Bla!"

It'll get that just fine.

Jack said, "Bla bla bla.
Bla bla bla
Bla bla bla." Jack got slapped. "But I bla bla
Bla bla bla"

It'll get that just fine.

Jack said, "Bla bla bla.
"Bla bla bla
Bla bla bla." Jack got slapped. "But I bla bla
"Bla bla bla"

This last style just confused the hell out of it. If this last style is how you do your quotes, it'll be useless to you. It's a valid style, but a nightmare to code it to be able to tell the difference between the two, so I had to pick one style. And, obviously, I picked my style.

It writes the report where your page number is. You probably don't know but that's the line below the text that reads something like this:

Page 1 Sec 1 1/1 At 4.3" Ln 18 Col 38

It's usually just above the word [Start]

The very next thing you do in word will erase the results and it'll return to the Page # thingy.

Now, if you manually edit the code, it can do some neat things. It can underline or bold all the dialog for you. That's sometimes very useful too.


Sub ChapterOnlyReport()
' ChapterOnlyReport Macro This macro finds dialog in a chapter
' Macro recorded 6/26/2008 by TR NoWry And counts it, then reports at the end
' Chapters are defined by manual page brakes
' This lets you know how much of a chapter
' is dialog
UlDialog = False 'Change to True to Underline all the Dialog
BoldDialog = False 'Change to True to Bold all the Dialog
' 'Useful for diagnostics and, well, just fun!
On Error GoTo Quiter:
OEMpos = Selection.Start
With Selection.Find
.Text = "^m"
.Replacement.Text = ""
.Forward = False
.Wrap = wdFindAsk
.Format = False
.MatchCase = False
.MatchWholeWord = False
.MatchWildcards = False
.MatchSoundsLike = False
.MatchAllWordForms = False
End With
BeginChapter = Selection.Start
With Selection.Find
.Text = "^m"
.Replacement.Text = ""
.Forward = True
.Wrap = wdFindAsk
.Format = False
.MatchCase = False
.MatchWholeWord = False
.MatchWildcards = False
.MatchSoundsLike = False
.MatchAllWordForms = False
End With
EndChapter = Selection.Start
ActiveDocument.Range(BeginChapter, EndChapter).Select
w1 = Int(Selection.Words.Count * 0.808)
WordNumber = Str(w1)
If Len(WordNumber) > 4 Then WordNumber = Left(WordNumber, Len(WordNumber) - 3) + _
"," + Right(WordNumber, 3)
Selection.Start = BeginChapter

With Selection.Find
.Text = """"
.Forward = True
End With
If Selection.Find.Found = False Then GoTo OutLoop
If Selection.Start > EndChapter Then GoTo OutLoop
S1 = Selection.Start
With Selection.Find
.Text = """"
.Forward = True
End With
If Selection.Find.Found = False Then GoTo OutLoop
If Selection.Start > EndChapter Then GoTo OutLoop
S2 = Selection.Start
ActiveDocument.Range(S1 + 1, S2).Select
w = w + Selection.Words.Count

'For pause = 1 To 6000000

ssold = Selection.Text
BG = 2.5
For pt = 1 To Len(ssold)
If Mid(ssold, pt, 1) = "," Or _
Mid(ssold, pt, 1) = ";" Or _
Mid(ssold, pt, 1) = """" Or _
Mid(ssold, pt, 1) = ":" Then BG = BG + 1
If Mid(ssold, pt, 1) = "," And pt = Len(ssold) - 1 Then BG = BG - 1
w = w - BG

If BoldDialog Then Selection.FormattedText.Bold = True
If UlDialog Then Selection.FormattedText.Underline = wdUnderlineSingle


GoTo Loop1

Selection.Start = OEMpos
Selection.End = OEMpos
For d = 1 To 15
Selection.Start = OEMpos
Selection.End = OEMpos

gg = ActiveDocument.Words.Count * 0.807
g = Str(Int(gg))
If Len(g) > 4 Then g = Left(g, Len(g) - 3) + _
"," + Right(g, 3)
WW = Str(Int(w))
If Len(WW) > 4 Then WW = Left(WW, Len(WW) - 3) + _
"," + Right(WW, 3)
StatusBar = "This Chapter has <<<-- " + WordNumber + " Words, " + """" + WW + """" _
+ ", or " + Str(Int((w / w1) * 100)) + "% in quotes -->>> " + g + " Total book"
End Sub

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Redneck bugZapper... er.

Redneck bugZapper... uh, drownerer. Uh, OK, it's just a bowl of soapy water under a nightlight, but it getsRdone :)

I want a refund from Steven Chu (rant)

When Obama was elected, I had high hopes, like most of America.

I was working for a union in the DC area, so, naturally, I saw a brighter light at the end of the tunnel than most. Surely if there was going to be a recovery, it would start there, with union workers leading the way.

The average length of unemployment (between construction jobs) under Bush, what my union called the worst economy in history for 8yrs, was 3 months. That's a long time to be out of work, but the jobs you normally got after the wait lasted a year or more.

Under Obama, that script has been flipped. The average job lasts 3 months, AT BEST, and you have to wait a year or more to get the next.

Again, this is Union Work IN DC Under Obama, the president that got The Most money and support from the unions in the History of the United States.

But that wasn't the end of my disappointment.

Obama tapped Steven Chu as the head of energy. Energy, of course, spends billions every year on construction jobs. They build, of fund the building, of lots of cool things. As a union construction worker, and as a citizen, this is a very good thing. And Steven Chu is not just anybody. He's a Nobel Prize winner in Physics and is closely tied to the nuclear power industry, in Livermore, Ca. Livermore oversees the nuclear weapons, incase you didn't know.

When I heard Steven Chu was selected by the, then, new and hopeful administration, I gave an audible sigh of relief. A nuclear scientist. Pro nuclear power. A man that understands how close Livermore Labs is to making fusion power a reality with lasers. A man who was there when they made the STAR, a pocket-sized peeking nuke that, by itself, could cut our CO2 emissions to below those of Cuba! This was a smart man, and an impressive pick. America was going nuclear again!

CO2 global warming (I'm not a believer, but I'm a minority in that) was a problem that Steven Chu KNEW how to solve with Uranium and Deuterium. It was obvious that this was the president's meaning behind the pick. This gave me confidence in the hope and change. Maybe, just maybe, it wasn't just a slogan. That would be a first for any president. Perhaps politics had really changed.

Today, the US has approved Zero new nukes under Steven Chu.

But wait, it gets worse. Today, just a few hours ago, A Russian nuke went online. . . In IRAN! Yes, Iran got a new nuke before We did. And, to some true skeptics, this administration actually approved the Iranian nuke (through their inept inaction) before approving US nukes.

Nuclear power was the ONLY zero CO2 energy source capable of replacing coal AND reducing Energy Bills For Consumers AT THE SAME TIME. (Can you tell I'm pro nuke?)

It's so depressing to see a brilliant pick go to waste like this. Instead of greenlighting US nukes, Chu gave billions to politically connected Solar (like Solyndra) and wind (GE), both of which, even when they do work, are MUCH more EXPENSIVE to consumers (Which destroys the economy) WHILE NEITHER are Zero CO2. They both, to make them grid compliant, require a CO2-spewing source to back them up, usually natural gas or oil. And because the natural gas power plant can't predict the clouds and the wind, it has to sit idling, burning gas for nothing.

Imagine a solar/windpowered Hospital. They don't exist for a very good reason, but just imagine it for a minute. The doctor has a guy's heart out and the wind stops blowing or a cloud passes overhead. The lights flicker off and the man dies UNLESS the CO2-spewing diesel generator picks up.

Yes, to function as a hospital, every time a cloud passes overhead or the wind dies down a little bit, that gas-guzzling generator has to kick in of the patient dies. This is how the grid works, just on a bigger scale. Want to give someone an MRI that will really spin the meter? You better be good at predicting the weather down to the second, or turn that diesel on.

But it gets worse. Diesel generators have to be kept warm all the time (That uses energy). The heavy dynamos have to be kept spinning all the time (I've worked on them, I know). All of this is expensive, costly, and introduces stupidity into a fragile grid system for little rewards. In a real-world case of the 'green' hospital, the generator would run 30%-60% of the time to make up the gaps between the solar and wind. Battery backup (I've been in those rooms too) only keeps the building running for ten or twenty minutes, and they're an expensive maintenance nightmare too.

Steven Chu knows all this. He can't not know this. He understands that solar and wind makes grid management a nightmare, yet he politically backs them anyway. He knows that when he says wind and solar, Obama will get donations from solar companies, wind companies (GE who owns NBC), And, he'll get donations from natural gas (the diesel generator in the hospital example). The natural gas generator sells the most expensive, most profitable, least efficient energy on the planet, so they're happy. Without solar or wind mandates, they were never able to trick consumers into buying their Twice-The-Price-Of-Coal power. Solar and wind get to sell their electricity, equally as expensive. And the customers (All of US(a)) get to pay our share in higher and higher energy bills.

Steven Chu knew that nuclear power was cheaper for the customer than Solar/Wind/NaturalGas, but nuclear contribute to politicians a THIRD as much as the solar/wind/naturalGas Cabal... So, Chu buckled.

I'm disappointed, thoroughly, in all of it. This is the kind of proof libertarians like me need to toss our hands up and shout, "End the department of energy! End it now!"

If Chu couldn't fix it, it can't be fixed. It needs to be shut down if it's going to keep making purely political decisions that drive the price of electricity up and drives energy-dependent businesses overseas.

Friday, August 31, 2012

My Word Archiving Macro.

This little macro saved my ass more times than I can count. Open a word document, click this macro (it isn't automatic) and it will save a copy of the work (as YourTitle Time Date.DOC) to a USB drive, and an archive folder on the HD. Yes, it will, from then on until you close the document, continue making unique archives of the document every 20 minutes (or whatever you tell it to).

But wait, it gets better.

It also will leave an easily findable bookmark wherever the cursor is at the time, I use @@. Turning this feature on during editing lets you easily find your place and pick up where you left off again, and it ensures you never lose more than 20 minutes worth of work due to blue screens or power outages.

It's actually two macros

Sub Archiving()
' Turns Archiving on
'These are the default settings that work for me
BackupFolder = "G:\word\" 'Sets Where it archives it to
TimeChange = "00:20:00" 'Sets autoSave Time
TriedIt = False
On Error GoTo Skip
Open "c:\program files\archives.txt" For Input As #1
Input #1, b
Input #1, T
Input #1, bb
Input #1, PlaceMarker
GoTo SkipOver
If TriedIt = False Then
Call ChangeSettings
TriedIt = True
GoTo TryAgain
End If
If PlaceMarker = "NONE" Then PlaceMarker = ""
If b <> "" Then BackupFolder = b
If T <> "" Then TimeChange = T
Close #1
If True = ActiveDocument.Saved Then GoTo tink
d = Now
For e = 1 To Len(d)
If Mid(d, e, 1) = "/" Then Mid(d, e, 1) = "-"
If Mid(d, e, 1) = ":" Then Mid(d, e, 1) = "-"
Next e
a = ActiveDocument
If Left(a, 8) = "Document" Then
a = ActiveDocument.Range(0, 15).Text
For e = 1 To Len(a)
If (Mid(a, e, 1) >= "a" And Mid(a, e, 1) <= "z") Or _
(Mid(a, e, 1) >= "A" And Mid(a, e, 1) <= "Z") Or _
(Mid(a, e, 1) >= "0" And Mid(a, e, 1) <= "9") Then zork = 1 Else Mid(a, e, 1) = " "
a = InputBox("Please change from the generic name " + a, , a)
If a = "" Then a = "Document " + d + ".doc"
If Left(Right(a, 4), 1) <> "." Then a = a + ".doc"
End If
If Len(ActiveDocument.Path) < 2 Then
oldn = "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop\" + a
oldn = ActiveDocument.Path + "\" + a
End If
newn = BackupFolder + Mid(a, 1, Len(a) - 4) + " " + d + Mid(a, Len(a) - 3, 4)
If bb <> "" Then
bb1 = bb
bb = bb + Mid(a, 1, Len(a) - 4) + " " + d + Mid(a, Len(a) - 3, 4)
End If
' This inserts an easy to find tag where you are curently looking
If PlaceMarker <> "" Then
Selection.TypeText Text:=PlaceMarker
End If
On Error GoTo Problem
ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileName:=newn, FileFormat:= _
wdFormatDocument, LockComments:=False, Password:="", AddToRecentFiles:= _
False, WritePassword:="", ReadOnlyRecommended:=False, EmbedTrueTypeFonts:= _
False, SaveNativePictureFormat:=False, SaveFormsData:=False, _
If bb <> "" Then
ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileName:=bb, FileFormat:= _
wdFormatDocument, LockComments:=False, Password:="", AddToRecentFiles:= _
False, WritePassword:="", ReadOnlyRecommended:=False, EmbedTrueTypeFonts:= _
False, SaveNativePictureFormat:=False, SaveFormsData:=False, _
End If
' Removes the easy to find tag
If PlaceMarker <> "" Then
End If
ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileName:=oldn, FileFormat:= _
wdFormatDocument, LockComments:=False, Password:="", AddToRecentFiles:= _
False, WritePassword:="", ReadOnlyRecommended:=False, EmbedTrueTypeFonts:= _
False, SaveNativePictureFormat:=False, SaveFormsData:=False, _
GoTo tink
MsgBox "An Error in saving occurred" & Chr(13) & "Check Path " _
& BackupFolder & Chr(13) & "Or" & Chr(13) & bb1, , "Error"
' This makes it repeat the Rchive later
Application.OnTime When:=Now + TimeValue(TimeChange), Name:="Archiving"
StatusBar = "Rchiving ON ..." & TimeChange
TimeRemaining = Now + TimeValue(TimeChange)
End Sub
Sub ChangeSettings()
' AutoSave/Archiving settings
BackupFolder = "G:\word\" 'Sets Where it archives it to
TimeChange = "00:20:00" 'Sets autoSave Time
' Gets where and when from file
On Error GoTo Frog
Open "c:\program files\archives.txt" For Input As #1
Input #1, b, T, bb, PlaceMarker
If b <> "" Then BackupFolder = b
If T <> "" Then TimeChange = T
Close #1
tt = T
' Asks user for changes
b = InputBox("Enter Archiving path:" + Chr(13) + _
"These Have to exist" + Chr(13) + _
"It will not make them." + Chr(13) + _
"Most useful as a Removable drive.", "Archiving Path", BackupFolder)
If b <> "" Then
If Mid(b, Len(b), 1) <> "\" Then b = b + "\"
End If
bb = InputBox("Enter Additional Archiving path:" + Chr(13) + _
"These Have to exist" + Chr(13) _
+ "It will not make them" + Chr(13) + _
"Enter nothing for skip" + Chr(13) + _
"This is most useful as a folder on the HD", "2nd Path", bb)
If bb <> "" Then
If Mid(bb, Len(bb), 1) <> "\" Then bb = bb + "\"
End If
T = InputBox("Enter Time Between saves HH:MM:SS", , TimeChange)
PlaceMarker = InputBox("This inserts whatever you enter" + Chr(13) + _
" at your current location" + Chr(13) + _
"But ONLY in the Archives to help" + Chr(13) + _
" you FIND it, (think bookmark)" + Chr(13) + Chr(13) + _
"Enter nothing for nothing, " + Chr(13) + _
" @< works well", "Place Markers", PlaceMarker)
' Updates the Where,when on the file
Open "c:\program files\archives.txt" For Output As #1
Write #1, b, T, bb, PlaceMarker
Close #1
If T <> tt Then
Application.OnTime When:=Now + TimeValue(T), Name:="Archiving"
StatusBar = "Rchiving ON ..." & T
End If
End Sub

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Troubles in publishing

It's been a long, long road to get my foot into the publishing world.


99.9% of it was discouraging as hell.

I've been 'in print' since late 2007, and have sold... depressingly few copies. Though, I have to say, my few fans are FANtastic and reviews are mostly positive. And my books keep selling, just slower than I'd like.

I'm by no means an expert, I'm still fumbling my way through all this. And Traditional Publishing is the most vicious meatgrinder-of-dreams ever invented. I've had traditional publishers ask for money to 'improve my chances' of getting read, at respected places (Mondania press). I've had publishers threaten to blacklist me. And, rarest of all, out of around 500 submissions, I had ONE rejection that was actually constructive and helpful. One, out of 500.

The 'traditional publishing' industry is in full self-destruct mode, and it couldn't happen to a bunch of more deserving people, if you ask me. They've earned their place on the ash-heap of history. There is a reason why top-shelf names are commissioning their own cover art, paying for their own editing, and self-publishing now-a-days.

At the beginning of publishing, the 'editor' would read the book, then make a decision. Sometimes, the book was so awful that they'd only read a page or two, but they did read some of it first.

Fast forward to today and the LAST thing most publishers want to read is the book. 99% of the rejections Harry Potter got were from editors that didn't bother to read any of it. They want to read your MARKETING PLAN first. And if you can't guarantee them at least 10,000 books get sold (you're in a popular band, you teach school and can assign the books be bought by students, etc), you are "wasting" their time. They only talk to "serious" authors. Yes, I've been told this too, by the editors themselves!

They want a query letter (has NOTHING to do with the book, but proves to them that you know how to 'play' the game and kiss up). Next, they want that marketing plan, and it better be spectacular (because publishers don't want to do anything to earn their money, they want the author to do all the selling for them!). Then, if those first two are great, then they'll read the book. 500 submissions, and only three of my books were ever read, by anyone, at the publishing house.

This is how Harry Potter got rejected by dozens of houses. This is why most of the books that come from first-time authors and turn into best sellers get passed over by dozens and dozens of traditional publishers before someone 'takes a chance' on them. It's because it's difficult and time consuming to actually read books. It's easy and fast to read marketing plans and queries. But that practice makes editors lazy. Readers don't care about queries and marketing plans, they judge books on content alone. And the only only only only way to find out what's in a book is to read the book. . . and that's the LAST thing traditional publishers are willing to do.

When I self-published, 6 of the top 10 books in Japan were self-published (BEFORE KINDLE). Today, 2012, 6 of the top 20 books on Amazon are self-pub with Smashwords. Same trend with the NYT list. Full self-destruction is right around the corner.

My covers... are not that great. It's amateur hour. But, you know what, I IS an amateur, even though I've put thousands of hours into this particular endeavor.

My covers feel right to me. They feel authentic. My best-looking cover is NOT my best seller. In fact, my worst cover is my best seller. If I could think of something better, that I could do with a cell-phone camera and GIMP, I would. But I'm not that good with that sort of imagery. I'm not a photographer, just isn't me.

So, what can you do?

I can't afford 'professional' covers. And even if I could, I'd spend that money on professional editing instead.

But, I get compliments on my amateur-hour editing. And I should.

I edit each book at least four times.

I'm dyslexic, so I write everything in New Courier. My first edit comes right after I type 'the end'. I read it once, straight through, no stopping and no backing up. This is mostly for obvious typos and pacing.

Second edit, I change the page size. I make the paper a half inch narrower. This changes the way the words land on each line. You'd be surprised how many typos this little trick will pop out.

I know this
this sounds wrong,
but it is
is actually true.

I know this this
sounds wrong,
but it is is actually true.

Third edit is for story plot holes, but I also change the font to Times New Roman. Again, more typos pop out this time. By now you're past the 'story' and are a little bored. This heightens your attention to minutia and sloppy details like 'didn't I already say this somewhere' and stuff like that.

Fourth edit. Save it as a PDF, open it with Reader, View, Read out loud. Now I listen to it as I read along in the word document. Your ear will catch even more typos and bad sentence structures than your eyes will. I constantly find myself saying, "Wow, that didn't sound right!". Some people will use Kindle's read to me feature and your book should sound right being read this way. It shouldn't sound confusing, and now is the time to do that.

Fifth edit. I go back in the archives to when I first typed 'the end'. I have word compare now to then, and go back through each of the changes it found and ask myself if I still agree with them.

Sixth edit. Read it one more time, this time aloud with your own lips. This step can not be skipped. It really zeros in all your dialog and sentence structure. Lastly, have it read to you by the computer again, and just listen to it.

That's the best advice I have right now.


99 cents can be just as powerful as a great cover. Readers are still a little snobbish and haven't discovered that really good books can hide behind crap covers. 99 cents and free help get them over that.

But DON'T EVER give away a crappy book, it'll do you far more harm than good.

By the end of this year, I "Should" cross over that $400 line that the IRS says is where 'hobby' ends and 'writer' begins. This'll mean I can start writing off expenses now too.

Obama swiftboating.

Obama swiftboating... will this be on a T-shirt soon?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Touchscreen Ebook for 39.99 at Ollie's

Touchscreen Ebook for 39.99 at Ollie's.

I NEVER thought I'd see the day that ebook readers were under $50! It's a great time to be alive.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Stupid oral sex study

Ok, look, this is why you can NEVER trust scientists.

The following link takes you to the 'news' about a 'science' report claiming that there is a cure to morning sickness, and that's that the pregnant woman should perform oral sex on her partner, and swollow.

The 'Scientists' claim that this inoculates her to the new DNA and helps prevent the inflammation reaction to the foreign body (the baby). This is complete idiocy!

First, the 'science'.

Sperm is NOT genetically identical to the baby; at best, it's 50% of the baby's DNA. So, the 'inoculation' concept is imbecilic, and the 'scientists' involved should be fired and stripped of their degrees for gross incompetence.

Second, you can't inoculate someone through digestion and stomach acids. Inoculations never work this way. Not ever.

So, this brings us back to how such a study is ever DONE, and worse, how could anyone with a degree come up with such nonsense. SOMEONE had to Pay for this waste of time, and it undoubtedly was taxpayer funded. N.O.W. would Never fund such a thing. So, my guess is, if it wasn't funded by the Government, it was funded by a bigger pervert, like PentHouse.

So, it's obvious that like ALL studies, they started with an outcome, or conclusion, and constructed the study around it. They wanted pregnant women to do X, then they worked backwards from there to justify it.

The problem is, this IS TYPICAL.

Science has become big business. If you can afford to fund the study, a room full of 'scientists' will find a way support your desired outcomes. 95% of all global warming studies are funded by organizations like Green Peace, that want excuses to close powerplants. Governments want an excuse to implement carbon taxes, so the studies they pay for always find a way to justify it, one way or another.

The 'science' isn't always as flimsy and obviously wrong as this oral sex study, but it is ALWAYS just as distorted. Having Government pay for the studies does NOT insure the independence of the outcome. It wouldn't surprise me if Anthony Weiner got a dog-ear to fund this one.

Pocket dialed from an annoyed anDroid :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The twisted psychology of the war on Papa John's

I find psychology interesting, as most people do. And this election year is full of interesting psy-ops.

First, I've notice that ever since the president announced that he was behind the challenger in fundraising, there has been dozens and dozens of news releases about the 'evil' things the challenger's biggest donators give to.

The biggest flap, of course, was over Chic, (no pun intended).

The latest was over Papa John's.

Since the media loves a controversial story, they willingly run with anything a political hack gives them, with little interest in facts or suspicion as to the motivations behind why the story was just handed to them.

But that psychology is boringly simplistic. Dirty tricks by politicians is nothing new, and when one team starts falling this far behind in fundraising, they attack the other's donors in an obvious attempt to intimidate the donors into drying up.

But more interesting to me is the psychology behind what makes it a successful attack.

Take Papa John's and the DNC's latest smear. They're pushing for a boycott of a business (that employs thousands of loyal democrats), in an attempt to intimidate the owner into withdrawing his support. If the boycott is successful, hundreds of stores will close and thousands will be unemployed.

That's success.

That's the goal.

Even if all the stores close and go out of business, 'Papa' is still a multimillionaire. He can still donate millions every election for the rest of his life. So the goal of stopping one man is rendered meaningless.

But this is a psychological attack. It's meant to intimidate those smaller businesses that couldn't weather such a storm. It's a warning to all the mom and pops out there that may be thinking of donating a few thousand this year.

But simple intimidation is still not the end of this.

There's something more at work here.

All those thousands of Papa John's employees that the DNC is trying to get fired are the very neighbors of those tricked into doing the boycotting. These are people they see at the gas station, in the shopping mall, and on the street every day. The people that will be hurt the most by the boycotts are innocent democrats and republicans in the neighborhood. They're family and friends, not some abstract 'they' or 'him'.

So, how can the DNC (or any political party) trick their followers into destroying the lives of thousands of their neighbors in a vain attempt to punish or intimidate a donor for the opposition party?

Back to psychology.

There was a story on 60Minutes about a little mom and pop that almost never had anyone inside. It just had a mason jar full of cash, and prices on everything.

And for fifteen years, the money in the mason jar always matched what was missing from the shelves. The honor system worked, in the south.

But the question was why did it work. The bigger chains flirted with the same system, but put a jar of cash and a table of goods out in front of a Walmart or a Target and neither would last more than 15 minutes, let alone 15 years without both getting stolen.

These were the same people, in the same neighborhood.

So, why such different results?

Why could you use the honor system at a mom and pop, but not a big chain?

It's because people tend not to steal from individuals, but have little or no compunction about stealing from a big, faceless, nameless 'them'. If it's mom or pop, a mason jar will do. If it's Target or JC Penny, then you better have guards, cameras, and security.

Back to Papa John's. Politicians have discovered this trick too. If they told you to take on an action that, if successful, would destroy a business that was right down the street, and cause dozens of your neighbors to lose their jobs, nobody would ever do it. Not ever (with the exception of a few Timothy McVays out there).

BUT, if they can convince you that the company is big, and that a few cents won't really hurt them anyway, then you can get a mob of people to, with just a little prodding, destroy the stores of your choosing.

But you have to dehumanize the business first. (It wouldn't hurt to put out a few 'you didn't build that's' too)

You have to get the mob to forget, if only for the moment, that it's thousands of employed democrats and republicans, dozens of your neighbors, that you're being asked to destroy. To do it, you convince them that it's some big, goliath, heartless business, because "businesses aren't people". But when businesses fail, thousands of people are the only ones that get hurt.

Back when BP was in the news for all the wrong reasons, there were dozens of stories about gas-station owners that had sunk their life savings into opening the station. They owned it, not BP. But dozens of these senseless boycotts destroyed hundreds of these privately owned businesses. And as for BP, they sell oil to Shell and Amico, as always, and never felt a penny's difference.

I just hope, one day, we'll be able to use this trick of psychology to turn democrats and republicans into the dehumanized 'them' of politicians, so we can put them all out of business and fix this country again... But then, that's probably just the libertarian in me coming out. Forget this last paragraph, and let's go back to destroying the businesses that employ our friends and neighbors, just because a CEO or owner doesn't vote the way we want them to. We got rid of Whites-only stores, just to replace them with Democrat-only stores.

That isn't progress, if you ask me. But then, what do I know.

Monday, August 6, 2012

World hunger ends with growing food in the desert

How to grow vegetables in the middle of the desert... it's easy, you do it in a greenhouse!

I know, this is counterintuitive, but it actually works.
I came up with the design while writing Waffen, but it was one of the scenes I ended up cutting. Still, it was a good idea, so why not put it out free on the Internet (where all good ideas go to die in obscurity :)

First, the two biggest problems with growing anything in the desert is A. Water, and B. The dang heat! Using a greenhouse to solve both seems irrational on the face of it, but, believe it or not, it works. And it's unbelievable cheap too!

Materials list. A few hundred feet of plastic tubing or pipe (preferably the stuff used for radiant-heat floors), some sticks, a shovel, and two rolls of plastic sheeting, one clear (10'x200') and the other white (25'x200').

Yeah, that's more or less it! Told you it was cheap!

Start by digging a trench at least five feet down, three feet wide, and 200' East to West. Digging down allows geothermal to keep the plants cooler than they would be on the surface. Now grade it so that it will drain, preferably to one end, then line it with the white plastic. Dig two "pits" or holding tanks where the water will drain and line them with plastic.

Add topsoil back into the trench.

But wait, you say, you're in the middle of the desert! This might keep the water needed to grow plants from evaporating, but you still need an awful lot to begin with and you're still in the middle of a desert!

Ye of little faith : ) Let me continue.

Basically, the trench stays cool because it isn't all that wide and it's five feet or more below the surface. Five feet is kinda that magic zone where those geothermal air conditioners work.

All that dirt that was taken out of the trench is not going to go to waste. Run a pipe from the drain tank, slightly up grade, about five feet behind the trench along its full length.
This is the air intake. As hot air escapes the greenhouse, this will pull in fresh air. That hot air will be the long trip through the cooler dirt and the moisture will condense and be captured by the tank.
On the other side of the trench, another vent pipe travels the other way, through the same mound of dirt, and emerges at the surface. This is the exhaust vent. It too goes through the cool dirt and condenses the moisture that would otherwise have escaped the greenhouse. But unlike the intake, it's attached to a vertical piece of black pipe. The black pipe heats, the air rises, and it draws the air for you.

Eventually, even without bringing any water of your own, it'll pull enough moisture from the air to fill the tanks. But, of course, bringing your own would be faster.

Watering can be done manually at night, or first thing in the morning when the loss of moisture would be minimal for opening the greenhouse 'roof', but an automatic system isn't that difficult to rig.

A black bucket or length of pipe and some one-way valves can be used as the pump. The sun makes the air expand during the day, and the cool night makes it draw a vacuum during the night. The vacuum can be used to draw the water up into a gravity-fed soaker hose or sprinkler system.

A hand pump would also work just as well and would remove the need to open the roof and let the moisture out.

The 'greenhouse' can be shaded to regulate its temperature, if needed.

It can also be used to recapture the moisture out of the stalks and leaves as they dry and decompose inside it.

Yes, I know this design has downsides.
First, the rows have to be very narrow or else it loses its geothermal cooling. And the rows have to be spaced much further apart than conventional farming practices.

But irrigation this way is ultimately cheaper, and it would allow crops to grow in places that would be impossible otherwise.

Food for thought.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

You write it, they'll make it :)

This sort of thing was in Patent Mine and Houdini Scientist. The high-pulse power problem was solved by turning the Hypersonic jet engines into MHD generators by dumping potassium carbonate into the air mix.

Camping / survival stuff found in my books

Camping / survival stuff found in my books

Sunday, July 29, 2012

This is why gun control laws never work.

Yes, for $30 in plastic, you can make a Working machine gun.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The power of a two star review

In 2008, after getting beaten up by traditional publishers with an avalanche of rejections, I gave Amazon self publishing a try. And, with my first download I got my first review.

I was so happy.

But, a well meaning two star review was enough to keep keep it from ever selling another copy, until today.

That's nearly four years later.

Two stars, means, a D in a scale of A to F. In Amazon, its the kiss of death.

Now, the irony here is the reader that left the review that destroyed the book actually liked the story. In the review they asked for other readers (that their review scared off) to comment so they could discuss it. They even bought one copy of the rest of the series. But by then, the damage had been done, and none of them ever sold again.

Reviewers do not seem to understand what their comments are doing. this person was not evil. They didn't write this to destroy my career ... but they did.

two copies in four years.

two stars.

Amazon was the biggest market for Indie authors, and with it destroyed I went elsewhere. The same books on BN get good reviews and are selling.

I just hope people read this and understand what authors already know. Words mean things. They have consequences. And before you hit send, ask yourself, if you would say this to someone's face, instead of behind their back.

It wasn't a bad review. But Nobody but me ever read it. Everyone just skipped it because it had two stars.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Got to love good reviews, like this one.

4.0 out of 5 stars Good book with a few things I just didn't
like, June 27, 2012
J. Sallee
Amazon Verified Purchase (What's this? )
This review is from: The Art of the Houdini Scientist and the
other soulless zombies who were never here... (Hummingbird
Series) (Kindle Edition)
I gave a 4 because I didn't like the ending. I would think that the
girls would have banded together and eliminate a few problem
boys. With all the skills at their disposal, why didn't the kids just
take over? If she's that uber smart, why didn't she find a way to
fix the tooth problem? They have cameras everywhere, but not in
the rooms to monitor what happens there? Little inconsistant
things that bother me. Kill off the XO , top of my list.
Read well. Characters interesting. Good flow.

Well, Sallee, good news if you wanted to see that :) you'll love Patent Mine.

Re: kill the XO.
Since he was alive in Patent Mine (written a year or more before Houdini) killing him off just wasn't an option :(

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hail break

Ok,here goes.

I'm taking a break from writing right now. My "last" book in the hummingbird series is "Waffen" which is German for weapon and was briefly mentioned in "Daughters"

No, I'm not blocked, it's going very well so far. I'm closing on 80k right now. Those writers out there know when you get past a point, the story takes over and youre just along for the ride. Well 80k is that point for me. I can feel it in my fingers.

But I'm taking a hail break as a twister-ish storm blows through and is flickering the lights, and laptop.

Yes, I use a laptop, but when the Sony batteries in this "we don't use Sony batteries" NEC daylite smoked, and yes, I mean smoked like a cigarette gets smoked, I pulled them and never put them back.

So, now it's just a PC that looks like a laptop.

Anyway, the Waffen book is rolling right along. I'm averaging over a K a day (that's big for me). And I've reached the point where the main chr comes back on screen... sort of.

Every time I kill off this poor girl, it makes me cry. Every book of hers I sware will be my last and that I can't keep doing this to the girl... and then another book comes to mind and she lives again.

It's the longest relationship I've ever been in. :)

Ps. I typed all this on my Google phone with Kingsofts app. Got to love the times we live in.

For those looking for Waffen hints here, here you go.

She wakes freezing cold in total darkness, her heart stopped, no breath, yet she feels herself blink. She pushes hard against her tiny prison, it cracks open, and she finds herself... on the back side of the moon :)

Pocket dialed from an annoyed anDroid :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hmmm. Sounds familiar

read this on

"ELECTRIC-BLUE NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS: Data from NASA's AIM spacecraft show that noctilucent clouds (NLCs) are like a great "geophysical light bulb."

It's like I'm not making these things up. :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Diamonds and quantum computing

I'm so tired right now.

One of the criticisms of "Houdini scientist" is my "fantasy " of a solid state 'quantum computer " made from a man-made diamond ring.

Well, read this.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hacking video cards is "fantasy"

One of the gripes and rips I hear by "nerds" on my book "Houdini scientist" is that you can't hack video cards and use them as a powerful parallel co-proccessor for computers.


This supercomputer was built on the power of video chips for China.

And then there's this...

And this...

What most misunderstand is that, today, graphics cards Are a computer all unto themselves. The GPU is powerful, fast, and has Mega and gigabytes of built in memory. Its the little computer inside the big computer and 99.99% of the time its in idle.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

"Fantasy" scifi

One of my harshest "criticisms" of my Houdini scientist scifi novel is my "science" is fantasy... that it's pure fantasy that a teenage 'girl' is smart enough to do what my main chr does. Well, wrong, and here's just the latest article.

I remember a real life teenage "Sheldon Cooper" that made it to the evening news for building an atomic reactor.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Why ice-core CO2 theories are easily proven wrong....and why you should care.

The problem with CO2 in ice-core samples and why it is dangerously wrong:

We've all been told that CO2 is responsible for global warming and that all you have to do is look at ice-core samples to prove it. Unfortunately, ice-core samples are easily proven dangerously wrong.

First, their 'science'. They take a sample of ice, melt it, and test it for CO2 concentrations, then extrapolate their findings from there. If the melted water has absorbed high CO2 levels, like prehistoric seltzer, then this is 'proof' that CO2 levels were high when that snow was falling, the water droplets having absorbed the higher CO2 from the air while freezing in the atmosphere.

Here is where that assumption is easily proven wrong. There are other ways to get higher concentrations of CO2 in ice. CO2 falls from the air like snow on its own at –71f to –109f, temperatures that the poles routinely experience for several months (winter) every year for the last billion or so years. Antarctica holds the record at –128f on July 21, 1983, more than cold enough to make CO2 fall like snow.
So, what would happen if tons of CO2 fell like snow for a few months? Would it leave a record of this bitter cold in the ice? Would evidence of such a severe winter survive for thousands of years as a pocket of dry ice in these cores?
Well, no. It would not. Dry ice sublimes (passes from solid to gas) long before regular water ice melts and shouldn't 'survive' arctic summers.
So, what happens to this dry ice if it doesn't survive the summers of a balmy –32f?
The dry ice turns back to gas but it's 'trapped' under several feet of frozen water in the form of ice and snow. THIS is when the CO2 gets absorbed into the snow crystals, NOT when they were freezing and falling through the atmosphere but when the dry ice was melting!
So, instead of being a record of atmospheric concentrations of CO2, the ice core record is instead a record of EXTREMELY cold winters, and nothing more. At the very least, the ice core record is polluted by this phenomenon.

But, you say, this is just a wild theory.

Let's test it, shall we.
Take two glasses, two books, some ice, dry ice, and a blender.
Take the piece of dry ice and rub it against a cheese grader over ONE of the cups until an inch of 'snow' is in the bottom.
Next, put some ice into a blender and blend until snow. Add equal amounts to both glasses, then cover both with books. Ideally this is done in canning jars with the weight of the books keeping the canning lids on. As the CO2 turns to a gas, the lid will, with effort, push the book up (DO NOT screw down the lid, it WILL EXPLODE) and vent. The weight of the book simulates the weight and pressure of several feet of snow.
Wait until all ice melts and only water remains.
Then drop a Mentos into each and you'll find that CO2 has been absorbed into the 'ice core sample', even though BOTH samples of ice had been frozen under identical atmospheric CO2 levels.

But, all is not bad.
Let's turn this frown upside down, for there is more to be learned from this.

Let's say that CO2 IS causing global warming anyway. How has what you've just learned useful?

: )

For three months every year, nature gifts mankind with a way to REMOVE CO2 FROM THE AIR with virtually NO EFFORT on our part. All we need do is help it along the way.

Here's how.

Nuclear powerplants are not what they used to be. With STAR technology, (Google STAR under LLNL.Gov) you can put dozens of megawatts in a box the size of a sea container (about the size of a trailer on the back of a semi). When the temp is right, you turn on the dry-ice equivalent of snow machines at the pole, basic air-conditioner technology. CO2 falls from the sky for months at pennies per metric ton. Now, keep in mind, this IS ATMOSPERIC CO2. This is actually taking CO2 out of the air. This is not some sort of mitigation scheme. This can actually reverse the last hundred years in under a decade!
When summer comes around, you pump ocean water to r device and 'cap' the dry ice with several feet of frozen water and regular snow. This sequesters the CO2. If you wanted, you could use mining equipment and earthmovers to bury it, but it seems much simpler to use nature's example.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Invention idea

As I stare out my window at the hazy screen, I wonder why they don't make them out of clear strands like fishing lines:-)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Obama's latest lie, exposed on ABC NEWS last night

Obama is famous for saying "...we can't drill our way out of it..." but ABC NEWS begs to differ with this quote "... From Pennsylvaniat and North Dakota to Texas, horizontal drilling
and hydraulic fracturing are quickly turning the U.S. into an oil
superpower. By some estimates, 2 trillion barrels of oil are
waiting to be drilled -- nearly twice the reserves in the Middle
East and North Africa...."

Maybe now he can say "yes we can."

The oil is here, Mr president, and there's so damn much of it that Even the DNC affiliates at ABC can't cover it up anymore!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

From "all of the above" to abandon all reason.

Read that the department of energy, the same people that squandered a billion on cronies at places like Solyendra, are Cutting all domestic fusion projects... to save a few hundred million, right after abandoning NASA and space.

This isnt the actions of an "all of the above" energy policy. Its a sad day for me, if this turns out to be official... and it comes only weeks after NIF announced theyd be "proof of concept" by year's end.

Their LIFE reactor that "eats" nuclear waste was my inspiration for the designs I used in Personal Space. Very sad to know we were months away from turning nuclear waste from an expensive liability to a valuable asset:(

Monday, March 5, 2012

Free book week.

Smashwords is doing another sales week, and most of my books are half off with the code REW50, but use that code with The HHOPP Engine and get it free. This week only.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

link to album

My Redneck emergency k1 cooking kit

Better picture of redneck coke can cooker

Fire Burns Down homes, so, be extremely careful and keep extinguishers or wet blankets handy!

This pic is easier to see and adjust the flames. In emergencies, a liter of lamp oil or kerosene can cook beens and rice for a week on just three wicks, but your results will be different.

If you must use inside, always keep a window open. The safest place is inside the oven. Place burner on a cookie tray of wet sand or gravel, use upper rack to position pot.

Check constantly! Never let flames get high enough to smoke. If used in oven, leave door open. Keep food covered (aluminum foil is better than nothing) to speed cooking. Also, use foil to concentrate the heat under the pot. This is easy, just wrap around pot sides, fold as needed, and affix foil 'cylinder' to thr rack under pot. When a coffee can holds up the pot, it traps the heat for you (and actually works better)

But what if you dont have kerosene or lamp oil?

Cooking oil (corn, veg, etc. Even used) will also work, but youll need more wicks for the same heat and it smells worse when it burns. Dont have that? Vasoline works too, but with it you soak the string in it, put a glob of vasoline in a tuna can, and arrange like wicks in a candle.

NEVER use gasoline!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Redneck coke can cooker

These redneck coke can cookers can be made with simple scissors, a stappler,and some cotton string. Four burners is more than hot enough to boil water in an hour (hey, it aint a coleman)

Cut the end off, slit it down the sides, and fold over the excess. This is important, you want a lot of metal behind the piece behind the wicks. This keeps the kerosene from getting too hot (trust me, you dont want that).

Stapple the wicks in. Use aluminum from another can to make the damper bands. Thats just a piece that raps around the wick tight enough to stay up, but not so tight it doesnt move easily. Slide it closer to, the flame until it stops smoking.
A coffee can makes an excelent stand for pots.

Remember the obvious. Fire burns down houses, redneck cookers are way more dangerous, but if you are careful and desperate, they will work just fine... but check your fire extinguisher first!!!!

A better solution to emergency cooking is those little cooker cans, or a cheap oil lamp ($10 at walmart) an ideal place to cook is inside the stove under its builtin racks (always have a window open!!!)