Archive for December, 2010

My paperback is available

Friday, December 31st, 2010

My book is now in paperback. It will take a few days for it to be available on Amazon, but it can be bought from directly.

I had to approve the proof copy. There were a few minor problems, but what the heck, I am through fiddling with it.

I have to sell around 20 or so books to break even, but I doubt that I ever will.

Error Message Eyes.


Friday, December 31st, 2010

2010 was a so-so year. Not bad – not great. Nothing big happened. I had lots of little projects that kept me busy. The only bad thing was that is gone, although I was able to pass it on to someone else. The main good thing is that nothing worse than that happened. The family is all in good health and mostly happy. The cats are doing well. The bees are doing well. Some of the money I lost in the crash has come back, although I am still way down. I sold a few stories. I published a collection and got a few sales.

My 2009 new years eve post mentioned 1) Walk. 2) Take a course. 3) Record Tutorials. 4) Follow up on new projects (Harp recording project and Robotic Website). I did none of these. I dropped the robotics site because I had no time for it. I enhanced all my harp websites, but I did nothing really new. At night I don’t feel like going into a cold, dark and damp cellar to work on the harp stuff. I still want to take a course, but I never got around to it. Erica and I did not walk more than a few times.

This year?

I still want to walk. I want to release the paper version of my story collection. I want to release the rest of my good stories in collections. I want to collect my bee blog posts as a book and publish that. I want to collect my harp instruction posts as a book. I want to go to school again. I’d like to drive out to the Reno Worldcon (just an idea, probably not possible).

2011 may be a tough one. Max is frail and sick. He has a tumor in his lungs that will take care of him this year. The other cats are in good health, except that Willie is still diabetic. I am feeling my age a little and my hip is bothering me. Jim is moving to California this summer so that means the end of our weekly poker group. John will probably follow Jim out to the west coast, as John has no car and will starve to death without a ride to the super market.

Still, I don’t think much bad will happen in 2011. I am hoping the economy will improve and that my Web projects will make some more money and I’ll sell a few books. I will turn 60 this year, which will be very traumatic all by itself.

There are a few improbable things that I’d like to see happen. I’d like to buy a retirement home. I’d like to start work on some new and exciting project (yet to be conceived). I’d like to make a pro sale of one of my stories. Maybe one of these things will happen!

The Top 25 Guitar Songs of the ’60s

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

I agree with the songs with some minor changes to order, but with songs this good, how can you argue?

The March issue of Vintage Guitar (on sale mid January) will include the first in a series of features marking 25 years of the magazine’s publication. It kicks things off with the results of a online poll to determine what readers think are the 25 coolest guitar-driven songs of the 1960s.

1) “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
The Rolling Stones, Out of Our Heads, 1965

2) “Sunshine Of Your Love”
Cream, Disraeli Gears, 1967

3) “Purple Haze”
Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced?, 1967

4) “Day Tripper”
The Beatles, Yesterday… and Today , 1965

5) “Walk, Don’t Run”
The Ventures, Walk Don’t Run, 1960

6) “You Really Got Me”
The Kinks, The Kinks, 1964

7) “Whole Lotta Love”
Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, 1969

8) “Crossroads”
Cream, Wheels of Fire, 1968

9) “All Along The Watchtower”
The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland, 1968

10) “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” /”Voodoo Chile”
The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland, 1968

11) “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
The Beatles, White Album, 1968

12) “Oh, Pretty Woman”
Roy Orbison, 1964

13) “Pipeline”
Chantays, Pipeline 1963

14) “Born To Be Wild”
Steppenwolf, 1968

15) “Misirlou”
Dick Dale and his Del-Tones, 1962

16) “I Feel Fine”
The Beatles, 1964

17) “Little Wing”
The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Axis: Bold as Love, 1967

18) “I’m Going Home”
Ten Years After, Undead, 1968

19) “Honky Tonk Women”
The Rolling Stones, 1969

20) “Apache”
The Shadows, 1960

21) “Mr. Tambourine Man”
The Byrds, Mr. Tambourine Man, 1965

22) “Hideaway”
John Mayall with Eric Clapton, Bluesbreakers Featuring Eric Clapton, 1966

23) “Over, Under, Sideways, Down”
Yardbirds, Over Under Sideways Down (a.k.a. Roger the Engineer), 1966

24) “And Your Bird Can Sing”
The Beatles, Yesterday.and Today (U.S.), Revolver (U.K.), 1965

25) “House of the Rising Sun”
Animals, The Animals, 1964

Perfect for New Year’s Eve – B.B. and Stevie

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Kindle Stuff

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Justine gave me a Kindle for Christmas. I have been skeptical about these readers in that I do not like to read computer screens. I do it all day long for a living and I don’t do it for pleasure.

The Kindle, however, is not like a computer screen and is very much like a book. I bumped the font size and I have no problem reading it on the bus. I like it. I wish it had a back-lit screen, but that will happen eventually.

My second objection to the Kindle is that is tightly bound to Amazon and, for most people, there is no other way to download content to the Kindle. Most people will not read a book that they did not purchase from Amazon.

For me that is not a problem. I have found quite a bit of content. I already use torrents to download TV shows that I missed (I downloaded the first two seasons of Mad Men, recently). I searched the torrents and found that there are large numbers of eBooks that can be downloaded. I downloaded 6 archives of Science Fiction books, including many classics, which is about 1,000 books.

Most of the books I downloaded are in PDF format, but there is decent software to convert that to MOBI, which the Kindle likes. (The PDFs are unreadable.)

I now have about 500 SF books ready to read. I am half way through The Last Theorem by Clarke and Pohl. (Easy read, but I am not sure where it is going).

My opinion of the Kindle is that it is neat technology and well worth owning if you are technical enough to get your own books free. There is, however, huge room for improvement. I foresee that the next kindles will have better screens with back-lit lighting to read in the dark. They will have to have a better keyboard with a few extra keys, at least. They will have downloadable apps, similar to Droid and iPhone. The new Kindles will also have touch screens.

If you can’t afford a kindle, they will be available at garage sales this summer for $50 and then next summer for $5 as people upgrade to new tech. I may have several in my bag at a time, each with 1,000 or so books on each.

I wrote a WordPress App that lets you send a blog page or post directly to your Kindle, and there will be many other programmers that will write similar things. Ezine editors will want to be able to send their whole ezine to a Kindle using this kind of program.

I also received a box of books from both Larry and Ward (my brothers) and each is cool. Both boxes have books from the 1950s that are long out of print, have neat covers, and will probably never be available on Kindle. I have not given up reading words on paper, and I look forward to reading these paperbacks.

Fantasy and Science Fiction – Competition #81

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Two Weeks Left!

F&SF Competition #81: REALITY SHOW

Pitch a reality TV show based on your favorite fantasy or science fiction story. Describe the plot in no more than fifty words. You have six attempts to make this producer greenlight your show.


“Survivor: Tatooine “Players compete against each other, the elements, and Tusken Raiders. The person who farms the most moisture wins. The winner gets a ticket off this rock.”

If you don’t include your mailing address and phone number, I will go mad, mad I say.


Send entries to Competition Editor, F&SF, 240 West 73rd St. #1201, New York, NY 10023-2794,
email entries to carol [a-t] cybrid [d-o-t] net.Be sure to include your contact information. Entries must be received by January 15, 2011. Judges are the editors of F&SF, and their decision is final. All entries become the property of F&SF.


PRIZES: First prize will receive a hardcover copy of Detour to Otherness by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore (published by Haffner Press).
Second prize will receive advance reading copies of three forthcoming novels.
Any runners-up will receive one-year subscriptions to F&SF.Results of Competition #81 will appear in the May/June 2011 issue.

Obligatory Cute Cat Vid – for New Year’s

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

I’m Sorry.


Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

The month of December has seen a big upswing in traffic on my sites. For most of 2010 the numbers have been trending down. Some of this is due to the loss of, but all of my sites seem to have been dropping off. Some time in November, the trend started back up again.

This site, the blog and the articles, get around 500 different visitors a day and on the average they read about three pages. This is actually quite good and puts me in the top 10% of all websites. There are billions of websites, so this may not mean much., one of my harmonica sites, is getting 3,000 users a day. This is almost 100,000 people a month checking the site., my programmer site, gets about 400 people a day, but I think more than a few are spammers. That site is pounded by spammers.

In total, all of my sites are getting about 4500 people a day reading my words. This is up from last year, although not as good as it was in 2007, when I was getting 6,000 people a day.

Nyack’s German Spy Ring

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Nyack’s German Spy Ring « At Home In Nyack.

Some Morning Snow Pics

Monday, December 27th, 2010

I carried the camera out with me on one trip. Here it is Noon and I haven’t shoveled enough to get to work. I think today is shot.


Monday, December 27th, 2010

14 inches and lots of drifts. The snow is very light and fluffy – easy to dig out. I cut a path to the mailbox and I have cleared out the front of the driveway. I walked back to the bees and cleared out the entrances so they could breathe. I have to clear out a path on the deck to the storage bin so I can get at the seed for the birds.

Erica made oatmeal with blackberries and I put my own honey on it. It’s better than what I usually have in the morning.

The buses aren’t running. I have to drive into work today as soon as I clear out the rest of the driveway. I have to take some pictures.

Snow Coming

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

8 to 12 inches on the way. I have to go out and get some cat food, or they will find nothing but gnawed bones here in the Spring.

The Joy of Socks – The Territory Ahead

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

One of my Christmas presents. You wouldn’t think socks would be a great present, but I love these socks.

The Joy of Socks – The Territory Ahead.The Joy of Socks

A Familiar Christmas

Friday, December 24th, 2010

This is a Christmas story that I wrote a while back. A witch, a cat, and some magic.

A Familiar Christmas.