Saturday, September 28, 2013

A trip I need to make in 13 years

Long-time readers may recall that I am a huge fan of the work of Spanish architect and genius Antoni Gaudi.  I particularly love his La Sagrada Familia cathedral, which I saw first with Scott on our trip to Barcelona when he was 16.  The building has been under construction for a very long time, but now the builders are claiming they will finish it--meaning, finish all that Gaudi meant it to be--by 2026.  Though I don't honestly believe they will complete the construction by then, I hope they do, because I very much want to see the final structure.

Check out this video to see a rendering of Gaudi's vision.  Amazing, breathtaking, inspiring, weird, organic, math-based genius.

I know I'll be 71 in 2026, but I still want to make that trip.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Want to hear me chat about Heinlein and my past?

Well, you can.  I'm not the only one talking, either.  You can hear interesting stuff from Toni Weisskopf, Baen's Publisher, and Tony Daniel, a Baen editor and fellow writer.

Warning:  At one point, in response to a question from Tony, I talk about some rough stuff in my past.  Don't listen if you want only happiness and light and unicorns (though why anyone would want those cheese-fry-stealing beasts is beyond me). 

Anyway, all you have to do is go to Baen's podcast page, where this podcast is the current one.  If you're reading this blog entry more than a few days after its initial appearance and the Heinlein one is not on top, check out the entry with the name

BFRH 2013 09 27

The Heinlein bit starts a few minutes into the broadcast, after the Baen news. 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Come see me Tuesday, October 1, at the
Wake County West Regional Library

The redoubtable Dan Brooks is once again spearheading an SF/Fantasy author series for the Wake County Public Libraries.  Dan graciously invited me to take part in two of these events.  The first, which is also the first of the series, is this coming Tuesday, October 1, at 7:00 p.m. at the Wake County West Regional Library.

Click on an image to see a larger version.

As you can see, I'll be joining three other local writers--David Drake, Terence Holt, and Lisa Shearin--in this panel discussion. We'll be talking about genre fiction of various types, our writing processes, and so on.  We'll also field questions from the audience.

There may be unicorns.

Okay, no unicorns, but there will be other, similar panels during October, as you can see in this flyer.

If you expand the image and read carefully, you'll note that I'll also be taking part in a second panel a week later.  No need to remember that one right now; I'll remind you later.

Some of us may grab dinner nearby afterward.

After all, unicorns have huge appetites.

All rumors of unicorns are strictly that, rumors.  I don't know why we even mention them; they are notoriously unreliable, not to mention piggy eaters who won't let you finish a bacon cheeseburger unless they also have one.  Don't even get me started on them and cheese fries.  The pigs...I mean piggy eaters.  They hate being called pigs.  Hate it almost as much as not getting any cheese fries, though not quite that much of course.  Unicorns, they love them some cheese fries. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The top five things I hate most about my Tesla Model S

Many folks who have asked me how much I like my new Tesla Model S quickly tire of hearing all the positive things I have to say about this great car.  So, quite a few have asked me what I hate most about it.  I've pondered the question, and I'm going to share the answers with you now.

5. It's not a jet car.

I mean, really.  Popular science magazines of my childhood promised me a jet car, and I want it.  Musk also controls SpaceX, so surely he can work out the details to share technologies between the companies. 

4. No beverage is waiting for me when I sit in it.

Again, is this too much to ask?  I actually have to bring my own water bottle.  A little AI, some communication with a shopping service, maybe a delivery service, and a little reading of weather data ought to be enough to let it have an appropriate drink waiting for me.  Coke Zero or water, by the way.

3. It doesn't shine my shoes while I drive.

Sure, I mostly wear sneakers, but when I'm rocking a pair of leather shoes, would a little polish and buff be too much to ask?  My feet are on the floor, so this shouldn't be difficult. 

2. It's already dirty!

I've owned it only three months, and already the outside is dirty and so is some of the carpet.  Dirt-repellent technology must be on the Tesla drawing boards; I want it now!

And, the number one thing I hate about my Tesla Model S,

1. I can't afford to give one to every single one of my friends.  

I'm convinced that's the only way I can stop them from being (correctly) jealous of me for owning the car.  Sadly, that feat is way, way, way beyond the level of money I will ever have.

P.S. Having said that, if my books ever sold at Harry Potter levels and I had the money of J.K. Rowling, I would have to seriously consider making a lot of my friends very happy indeed.  So, if you want to help my friends, get busy buying those books!

P.P.S. Okay, that's lame, and I feel bad about writing it--but not so bad that I'm going to delete it.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm all for humor

but do we really need it at the bottom of urinals?

Apparently, at least some vendors think so, as I learned in a restaurant restroom in Albany last week.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Granted, this pun is a weak attempt at humor, but still.

A related question that this urinal raised:  Do we really want to make men laugh while they're standing there?  Is that in anyone's best interest?

Yes, I wonder these things.

Monday, September 23, 2013

I am so sixteen inside

Or maybe it's twelve.  Sometimes, it's hard for me to tell which.

Example:  Not long after arriving in Albany last Wednesday, I had to phone into a podcast show (more on that in another post).  My room wasn't ready yet, and the hotel lobby was too loud for the call, so I asked one of the desk clerks where I might find a quiet space.  He sent me to a lower floor which was, he assured me, "a ghost town."

It was indeed a whole lot of empty space.  No one was in any of its many meeting rooms.

Those rooms had, however, very recently hosted some sort of motivational/organizational meetings.  Flip boards and cork boards and whiteboards sported all sorts of generic terms and sayings.  The room I chose for the call featured this bit of seminar detritus.

After I finished the call, the juvenile me found the board irresistible.  I grabbed a marker, and a few minutes later, I left the room with the board sporting a new message.

I told you:  sixteen, or maybe twelve. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

On the road again: Bouchercon, Albany, day 4

I'm home.  The trip was as boring as it could be on an airline on which I have no privileges, which also means it went about as well as I could hope.  Both planes were over-sold and very crowded, but I was able to fit my carry-on small suitcase overhead both times, so I cannot complain. 

Bouchercon is a much, much smaller convention than any WorldCon, its SF counterpart.  It is, however, a convention at which everyone I've ever met is an avid and active reader.  Sure, they love movies and other media, but they particularly love to read.  I always find that wonderful. 

I look forward to the day when I finish my thriller and, with luck, it finds a home in the market.  It would be nice to have a novel in a genre that Bouchercon fans recognize as their own.


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