Anything you dream is fiction,
and anything you accomplish is science,
the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.
- Ray Bradbury
February 28th, 2007

Sciencefictional Stories

Now that the ScienceFictional is gone, I would like to publish the stories that I wrote for it.

I wrote a Viet Nam war flash story that I like. I reworked this one quite a bit quite a bit, cleaning it up and changing some some plot points, adding 400 words. It is still only 1500 words, but it needs a home. I think that a war piece is a hard sell. It is weird.

I have three awful horror stories, a satire and a very nice flash about an old woman in a nursing home and how she avoids being murdered (genre is suspense).

I have a bunch of these square peg stories and no round holes for them. Any ideas?

February 28th, 2007

Web Host Transfer

I finished moving websites to 1and1.com. This is the largest web host in the world. My only beef with them is that they use a home grown java based stats program. I would much prefer Awstats, which produces very good reports. They are based out of Germany, but the data center is in NYC. The have a $3 a month package. I have a $15 a month package.

The hardest site was www.freenameastar.com. I make a little money with this site and it is sensitive. When I realized the HostMerit had not restored from the correct disk, I was afraid that I would have to refund 4 months worth of star registrations. I got everyone back, though. It required a little cutting and pasting to get it right.

I moved lectrolab.com, astoundme.com, harplog.com, cthreepo.com, sciencefictional.com, silvertoneamps.com and a bunch of sites that get zero hits. I am dropping fumets.com as I will never finish the novel (unless I retire) and I am dropping wapfiction.com because nobody wants short stories sent to their cell phones as wml or text messages.

I did not try to restore sciencefictional.com. I was unhappy with the webzine thing and I want to ruminate a little on what to do with it. I think someone should buy it from me. It is a nice name for a spec-fic site, but perhaps too intellectual and snobby sounding. I had written 20 stories for sciencefictional under pen names. I should dust them off and spread them around the for-the-love-of webzines. All are under 2k words and most are awful. Perhaps I will use a pen name so I don’t have to take credit for them.

February 26th, 2007

If you can read this….

I transferred my cthreepo.com domain and 20 others to 1and1 hosting today. After the problems with HostMerit, I thought it best. I liked the idea that it was local and I liked the idea that it was a hacker entrepreneur running the site, and I liked that it was cheap. But, Hostmerit was not stable enough to stick with. They lost 4 months of data and then were angry that I asked them to find it. They pointed me to the old site where they said there was no data and I was able to copy it all down to my PC.

In the middle of this, they sent me a bill for the next year’s service. Well, not today. I will stick with the more expensive, klutzy web hosting service. 1and1.com is a German company with a NY data center. I will use it for a while and hope for the best.

I transferred all the little accounts and the blog. On Wednesday I will transfer freenameastar.com. The only one left is StellaMaeve.com, the one for Jimmy’s actress daughter and I have to wait on Jim to update the DNS as he owns the domain.

February 25th, 2007

Lost data

Once again my hosting company has screwed me. It lost all of the mySQL database data going back to 10/15/2006. How can you do that? It lost a bunch of blog posts and one of my projects is missing entirely. Never use HostMerit.com.

February 24th, 2007

The Illustrated Cat

My brother Larry found this searching eBay for obscure guitar parts. This picture was included with an auction for a Gibson ES-355 pickguard. He called me three times to make sure that I blogged it.

The pendant must have been a tricky paint job.

February 23rd, 2007

The Fleas are Coming

I am having a serious Flea Market jones. I want to go to a flea market and buy some treasures.

Here is the up and coming schedule starting in April. I guess I’ll have to just hunker down and wait through the end of February and then March.

April 2 – Elephant’s Trunk opens. Good junky flea market. Lots of old SF, Vinyl records and an occasional microphone.

April 6-7 – Saratoga: Capitol Region Guitar Show (not a flea, but I’d like to go anyway)

April 21, 22 – Rhinebeck Flea Market. Good early market. Lot’s of commercial ventures and Antique stores, but also a good deal of junk found on the side of the road.

April 29, Stormville Airport Flea Market Opens. 75% socks and 25% Antique dealers, but there is a dealer in old pulp magazines that sells off some of the old stuff cheap. Also an antique dealer with a bunch of old Amazings from the 1920s. She comes a couple of times a year. I am wearing her down on the prices and I will eventually score a box of old magazines if I am patient with her.

February 22nd, 2007

Wil Wheaton Links In

Wil Wheaton’s blog linked to this site (the cliches list) and instead of 300 distinct users and 500 page views a day, I jumped up to 1500 distinct users and 3000 page views per day for the last few days. Actually that’s not a lot compared to my other sites, but it is interesting that a Trek star reads my site.

February 22nd, 2007

I need a Vacation

I occasionally dip my left big toe in the job pool to test the water. I have resumes at Monster and a few other job sites. I make a separate email address for each one so I can track where my job offers come from. In the last few months, I have been receiving spam and Nigerian scams at the Careerbuilder.com email. They have sold (or someone has sold) my personal data and I am receiving these bogus work-at-home offers where I am asked to give up my checking account number. They know my name and address.

I also get calls at my home number from very aggressive recruiters, who want me to relocate or work for peanuts. These come from CareerBuilder, as well.

I killed my CareerBuilder account, but the damage is done. Careerbuilder seems to be casual about who gets my information.

If you want to find a job, use InDeed.com. This is an aggregater, that goes out to several job sites and scrapes off the data. I specify jobs within 20 miles of my home and I get dozens of good job listings when I check it. The other places to check are Craigslist.org and http://www.usajobs.opm.gov (this is where I apply for NASA jobs – not even a nibble so far).

By the way, yesterday I got a nibble on my left big toe. I dreamt all night about a job where I could actually take a paid vacation again. It’s a long shot, though. I am not a good match and the tech interview was about .NET, which is not my area of expertise. I tried to convey that I am a decent programmer, no matter what the language, but I am not sure that I came across as competent for the job. Still, I wasn’t entirely bummed by the interview and I have some slim hope. Perhaps in a year, I can take a week or two off with pay – what a concept. I haven’t had a vacation (other than down time between gigs) since 1999.

February 22nd, 2007

Grow Fins

I have become a Captain Beefheart fan. I love the song Grow Fins and wrote a story where a key plot point involves growing fins. Chris loaded it up at StaticMovementOnline.com. It is part of their invitation only issue, so I am honored to have been included. Here is a Media player clip of Grow fins that will give you an idea of the song. They don’t include the lyrics where Beefheart sings: I’m gonna find me a mermaid. I’m gonna grow fins.

Grow Fins, By Keith P. Graham

February 22nd, 2007

Good Reading – Leinster and Campbell

John W. Campbell, Jr. and Murray Leinster, my favorite editor and my favorite short story writer, have been long dead and have left some of their work behind in the public domain. I am guessing that the magazines were slow to spend the money to renew copyrights and the authors were negligent in maintaining them. Writers like Andre Norton and H. Beam Piper may not have left wills and their estates were contested or left to the state. I can’t understand Campbell not providing for copyright renewal and I know Leinster had family, so I don’t know why these stories are available.

Here’s some good reading:
Islands of Space by Campbell
Gateway To Elsewhere by Leinster
The Duplicators by Leinster
A Logic Named Joe by Leinster
The Fourth-Dimensional Demonstrator by Leinster
The Pirates of Zan by Leinster

The Leinster stories are available at Baen and they are major stories, not obscure ones. The Islands of Space is a very good Campbell, and although #2 in a series, is readable as a standalone book. Campbell books are very much Gadget stories so those who like touchy feely fiction need not bother. I have the Islands of Space in an Ace books edition, but I am blogging it so I can go back and read it again online sometime when I have the computer on and I have no good SF within easy reach.

February 20th, 2007

Louis Slobodkin

Probably the first Science Fiction Book that I ever read was Spaceship Under the Apple Tree by Louis Slobodkin. Today, SFSignal.com pointed to his personal website. Yesterday was his birthday (he died in 1975). I shocked the librarian at Hilltop Elementary School in Nyack by asking for more spaceship stories. What she showed me was a shelf of books that include Heinlein as well as other juvenile SF. My favorite was “The Planet of Mist” (Misty planet? – something like that), which was a story about Venus and a spaceship that crash lands there. I wish I could find the book.
I liked Spaceship Under the Apple Tree and its sequels because I had an apple tree in my backyard, and the locale was obviously the Hudson Valley, so it was quite possible that one summer evening I might discover a spaceship under my apple tree.

Note: I did a search and discovered “Flight to the Misty Planet” by M. E. Patchett. The book is out of print and it goes for about $200 everywhere. I have added it to my eBay search list. It’s the story of two boys who get stranded on Venus and the cool time that they have before they manage to repair their spaceship.

February 20th, 2007

Common Ties » Submit a Story

Here’s a quick paying market for anyone who has true stories up to 2,000 words. It pays $100 and you can submit as many as you like. It is looking for “Lucky Break” stories right now. Coming up is religion (March 9, stories due March 6). Future themes may include travel, idiosyncrasies, crime, family secrets, and the seven deadly sins. It seems like a quick buck for anyone who is writing. They buy a bunch if these every week.
Common Ties » Submit a Story

February 18th, 2007

P n E

My fictional fiction was bumped down to position 25 from position 8. In fact, all of the Samsdotters, AR-ers and StaticMo’s were dropped out of the running in the SF story category. I altered their Top Ten image so we can all proudly display it on our websites.

2006 Short Story – Science Fiction Results:

February 16th, 2007

iRobot – Create

I saw this. It is on sale at iRobot for $115.

The only problem is that it does not actually vacuum your floor. It would be just an expensive toy if it didn’t actually do anything useful. Still, I might enjoy confunding the cats with a robot, perhaps tying a raccoon tail to the thing and start it running around the room.

Forget about Battle Bots, iRobot has the new iRobot Create Programmable Robot for all of you uber vacuuming geeks. The base kit is $130 – $30 with coupon code createces + $15 shipping = $115 shipped. Free shipping on Accessory orders of $59 or more, Also receive 15% off on all Create Compatible Accessories.

iRobot – Create