August 29, 2014

T.V. Viewing For My T.V. Dinners

One of the few ZZ Top songs that I like

My t.v. viewing habits have taken a 245 degree turn into strangeness.

Back in the day, (like before cable) I used to watch everything under the sun. Even when I got cable (around 1978 or so), I used to watch everything under the old network sun. However, by the late 90's/early 2000's, I pretty much abandoned network t.v. for the greener and edgier land called cable.

How little do I watch network t.v.? I have yet to watch a prime time show of any kind on any of the 6 major networks since early last decade. So I have no idea on what's on, what's popular, what's must see t.v.

What do I watch? Mostly reality, along with regular series, both on cable and the movie channels (i.e. Showtime). I love watching regular short season series on cable because not only can you get away with more, but the shows are a lot more realistic for what they need to be.

However, like most things, I am very picky about what I watch for series programs. I watched all but one season of Dexter; when we had HBO, I watched Sorpranos, Deadwood, and Carnivale. Didn't like Power (Encore), couldn't really get into Spartacus, and was one and done with True Blood.

My current episodic faves are: Ray Donovan and Penny Dreadful.

August 27, 2014

Skool? Skool!!

I present to you for your groaning pleasure, the most over requested song for the 1st day of skool.

That's right boys and girls, in my tiny little hamlet (population 27K), today is the first day of skool, and as such, we are both jumping for joy and preparing for another six months of aggravation.

Jumping for joy 'cause youngest child,

 is returning to skool (8th grade), six months of aggravation 'cause now I have to make sure my buttocks are out of the house at exactly 7:30a so that I can drop off said child at the bus stop, which this year is supposedly arriving a few minutes earlier than last year. And not only do I have to make sure my buttocks are out of the house at exactly 7:30a, but now I have to spend at least a couple of weeks memorizing not only the morning bus routes for the south end of Hartford ('cause that's where I works) but the evening bus routes for the south end of Hartford ('cause that's how I escape to home).

I tell ya, one more year of junior high, then the mud really hits fan when next year she becomes a...........FRESHMAN?!

Oh the agony!

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

August 25, 2014

Exploring I Did Go, Exploring I Did Go! Hi-Ho The Dairy-O, Exploring I Did Go!

After the debacle of last Friday's post, in which no one had the good sense to leave a comment (no, I'm not criticizing, just recognizing the fact that the post in question sucked major moose testicles), I decided to take another crack at writing another Cedar Mountain Classic. So exploring I did go to the blog of the other dimension, where sight, sound, reason and intelligence exist therefore not.

Hold on a moment, was channeling Roger Rees and Rod Serling at the same time. Must get that round peg back in the square hole.

So after twirling around the blog for a couple of minutes to explore a few of my early posts (those below the number 150), I discovered one immutable concrete fact: playing the part of Sherman to Mr. Peabody (boy did that movie disappear from the theaters or what?) is an exercise fraught with excruciating mental anguish.

Yuppers. Reading what you had previously written on topics that you haven't actively pursued/discussed/thought about in roughly a half dozen years will absolutely make you cringe from embarrassment. While channeling ye olden schtuff in genres like movies, music, and books is a good thing, channeling ye olden cannon fodder from ye olden blog is definitely ye olden snoozefest.

While I'm not making any excuses (at least one that you might accept as plausible), the fact remains that we've been on a downhill slide to Sluggoville, for the past few weeks. However diligent we may be spending our time looking for a way out (and we are practicing due diligence as we speak), I must ask for patience as I battle my way through this momentary downhill slide to Sluggoville.

I can say with absolute confidence that on September 3rd I will be making my first post for IWSG, so September will start of with a bang. That you can be sure of.

In any event, today's post was brought to you by Bing, the better search engine, which allowed to me to touch upon the ye olden pop culture that folks under the age of 40 probably will not get. Have a Happy Monday!

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

August 22, 2014

A C.M. Classic: Post # 99

Time now, for the redundant portion of Father Nature's Corner, where we produce another post in the occasional series entitled "Cedar's Mountain's Classics", in which we take an old post from the original five year odyssey that was my first blog and retool, revamp, regurgitate, reactivate and simply reanimate to something very new and very shallow.

Today's post will be a riff on a very old post, so old in fact that it dates back to roughly when the Messiah was first elected to run this good country into the ground. Post #99, Golden Texas Tea (yeech, even the title sucks), was basically a good old fashioned background dump...a very bad cringe-worthy background dump. The kind of background dump that neophyte writers I was back in 2008.

Anywho, riffing on this post.....where or where do I begin? I suppose I should begin at the beginning, right?

August 20, 2014

Once Upon A Time

I had a very abnormal day yesterday, and as such, I's apologizing in advance for the following nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives and continuity issues that will soon torture your eyes and consume your brain cells.

Once upon a time, there lived a fat little man with glasses and sparseness of hair at the foot of a big bad molehill. Now this fat little man with glasses and sparseness of hair whiled away his hours spouting left of center nonsense like "there's no such thing as illegal immigrants" and "I believe in transparency!" while making a serious nuisance of himself to the non-law abiding citizens that gutted the world around him.

One day, this fat little man with glasses and sparseness of hair decided that he needed to upgrade his living quarters, 'cause you know, a man of his INTELLIGENCE really needed something fly to show all the pathetic peons just how pathetic they really were and living at the bottom of a molehill simply doesn't cut it (or out) anymore.

So he stood up, turned around and delivered a really hi-quality sissy kick at the molehill. Almost immediately, he collapsed to the ground wheezing and geezing 'cause you know that any physical exercise of any kind just simply made him ILL. So after spending a couple of hours lying on his back staring up at the sky and getting free eats from the ladybugs that had the unfortunate gall to fly in and out of his mouth, the fat little man with glasses and sparseness of hair ran out of gas, ran out of patience and finally ran out of words in which to entertain the many denizens of his mind.

But wait, out of the corner of his eye entering the scene from stage right, was his archenemy:

Der Kitten!!!!

The fat little man with glasses and sparseness of hair sat up and instantly became lightheaded from the exertion. Der Kitten walked over and shook her head at the fat little man with glasses and sparseness of head. Afterwards, she sat down, pulled out her phone and punched in a couple of numbers. Seconds later, a ginormous pygmy pony popped out of the molehill, grabbed the fat little man with glasses and sparseness of hair by his chubby cheeks and said in a very exasperated tone.

"Next time, get with the program and write out a blog post that is either humorous, enlightening or head scratching, but above all, write a post that makes doesn't insult the reader's intelligence! This doesn't make people think! This makes people say, that boy's Alpo isn't normal!"

Alpo. For those who think that beef for humans simply isn't good enough for consumption.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

August 18, 2014

Just Snip It In The Bloom!

No one real topic to elaborate on today, but I do have a few snippets on which to bloviate, so I shall. Bloviate on the snippets that is.

Facebook. Sometimes knowing that certain other people also occupy the same cyberspace as you is not a good thing. Just like most other people, I too have family members in which I want absolutely nothing to do with. Permanent estrangement you could say. So you could well imagine my surprise when a blast from my very distant past reached out to friend me. Naturally the name did not ring a bell, so I did what I usually do, which is to send a very brief one sentence message asking who they were. They proceeded to identify who they was, which in turn I responded by saying that it was very nice to hear from them, but I have a personal rule of thumb of not friending family members. I told them that my only respite from my family is my blog and Facebook, and I don't bother them on Facebook and they certainly don't bother me (and they don't. my entire family is on Facebook, but they have their life and I have mine). So with one click of the mouse, I declined their request.

As one might say, I have a very very long memory about certain things/certain people, and the less contact I have the better I feel.

The Inner Sibling. I finally got off my butt and started looking into buying a book cover for the re-release of my commercial debut. First I decided to use a graphic company that I saw on Facebook, and I found a very good photo to use from Fotolia that would've fit like a glove for the book, Unfortunately, no response from an e-mail query and form query (from the website) over the course of three days (found out later that the owner decided to take a holiday) prompted me to contact the company that designed the cover to my debut. After catching up on things (we used to be published by the same company. she's still there), it was determined that she would be able to design a very nice cover that is similar to my debut (double image but fully clothed). Right now, I'm trying to figure what package I can get for the cover (possibly print in the future, but definitely e-book for now).

My next step is contacting the formatter that I found via Mark's List (he of Smashwords), who does formatting for both e-book and print, because quite frankly, this time around I have absolutely no patience for formatting. If I want it done right, I'll pay a professional to do it.

Writing. I finally did some writing over the weekend as I had a large chunk of uninterrupted quiet time in which to pursue it. As most of you are aware of, I started using my Dragon software to write. While overall it's been a positive experience, the mere fact that I'm verbally writing causes an unlimited amount of aggravation. Why? Because of the type of fiction I write (paranormal/fantasy peppered with scenes/language that starts at R and goes progressively downhill), I'm really worried about what my immediate family would say/react should they hear me talking like this. So yeah, I do have some ethics that do crop up from time to time. In any event, I wrote about 2 1/2 pages, which may not sound like a lot to you, but considering that I actually had to think/edit before speaking, it was a tremendous accomplishment.

So, for those of you on Facebook, do you face similar sticky situations? If you blog, do you have similar sticky situations as well? How do you handle family members that you suddenly come into involuntary contact with after a certain number of years (in my case, 25 years)?

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

August 15, 2014

The Things We Do....

I'll be the first to admit that I absolutely love schlocky 70's music. 70's music is without a doubt the best sing-a-long music you can fun with at any given time on any given day. One of my favorite songs is by Reunion:

The other day I was sitting in front of my computer (you know where this is going, right?) watching this video on YouTube and reading some of the comments, when an EUREKA! moment came to me (you know where this is going). So, after spending roughly four hours spread out over four days, I managed to count at least 121 different artists/bands/non-music entities identified in this video. And out of those 121 artists, I managed to identify about 85% of them.


So without further ado, here is a very fine example of anal retentive behavior, or OCD, pick your poison. If you can fill in the blank spaces on who I missed or misidentified it will be greatly appreciated.

August 13, 2014

The Less You Think, The More You'll Solve

I have been in a major rut for the past month or so as it applies to my writing. Even though I have 3 books out (book 1, book 2, book 3), I'm still in a quandary on what to do next.

For example, I was doing a monster rewrite of a novella with the working title Creative Inaction and was making very good progress, when I decide to switch gears and work on something different. That something different was reworking book 2 because I had received the rights back to a few months ago. I knew I needed a new name and a new cover, and I wanted to make it an e-book only release. However, after spending a fruitless day trying to reformat it, I gave up and decided to have a professional do it. Since finances are squeezed tighter than a guv'ment official speaking the truth, it got put on the back burner (however, a resolution is imminent, so stay tuned).

So to refocus my brain on something else besides redoing book #2 and writing, I decided to do a little editing, or rather, note taking. I took out an old novella that I'd completed about a year ago called Blackness In The White Sand (note, it contains a link to a nasty excerpt on my adult blog) and began taking notes, mostly of the grammar variety (i.e. highlighting poor sentence structure). While I was still very impressed with what I wrote, I still had the very sticky problem of trying to come up with a brand new title (roughly 2 years running).

August 11, 2014

A C. M. Classic: Post #495

Time now, for the redundant portion of Father Nature's Corner, where we produce another post in the occasional series entitled "Cedar's Mountain's Classics", in which we take an old post from the original five year odyssey that was my first blog and retool, revamp, regurgitate, reactivate and simply reanimate to something very new and very shallow.

Today's post will be a rarity, since it will be a serious look at bad writing. Post #495 Don't You Write Like This, originally started off as a hilarious look at bad writing and everything connected with it, basically mine with specific examples pulled from the book that I don't like to talk about. However, by December of that year, I had a serious change of heart.

While I didn't mine riffing on myself or my bad writing (still don't), I was having 2nd & 3rd thoughts about using the book I don't talk about to riff about. The 2nd & 3rd thoughts were mostly about how I was trying to revamp/rehabilitate my reputation as a writer and highlighting a book that should have been burned in an open bbq pit and not self-published (through a vanity press) or even see the light of day was detrimental to that end result.

So what I wound up doing was to delete any direct link to that book. So if you should find yourself exploring that tag, any link that brings you directly to that book have been eliminated.

Even though you'll never be able to purchase the book (the only thing that book was good for was that the remaining 30+ copies have allowed me create my business Books by G.B. Miller) from anyone except me, and I care way too much about my readers and blogging friends to every foist that piece of garbage on anyone ever again, I strongly recommend that anyone who is thinking about writing to read those 7 posts in their entirety.

Those 7 posts constitute the best guidebook you'll ever need on how not to write.

So my friends, thus ends the quarterly-to-semi-annual confessional post. We return you now to your regularly scheduled Monday program of whatever it is that is gumming up your dull day and making you want to tear your hair out with a pair of zirconium encrusted tweezers.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

August 8, 2014

Pump It Out

Kind of sums up my feelings about things in general.

Anywho, even though I'm still not quite that ready to entertain the masses, a promise is a promise, and what kind of peon would I be if I went back on the one thing I truly cherish. So, here it is folks, a post. To paraphrase a well known comedian, it's about nothing yet everything in particular.

I spent the better of the past couple of days letting my brain percolate on the daily observances/happenings that make up the strangeness that is my life, and while I didn't come up with one solid topic to pontificate about, I do have a bunch of little topics on which to expound and expand upon with utmost vim and vigor, posthaste.

August 6, 2014

Not Quite Ready

I'm not quite here today. Too much stuff going on at work coupled with some financial decisions that must be made equals no real post to think of. Thus, I leave you with a song that was rummaging around my head last night. Perhaps it explains better my frame of mind. Perhaps not. Either way, I should be better prepared on Friday.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

August 4, 2014

Don't Patronize Me

Most dictionaries have three definitions of the world patronize. Today's post will concentrate on the lack of definition #1.

There quite a few businesses that I will not patronize due to a given incident/incidents that I had experienced over the course of visiting those businesses. For those of you who may not know, I spent roughly 20+ years of my life in what I like to call "grunt retail". "Grunt retail" is simply those businesses that you visit on a daily basis, usually out of necessity (i.e. gas stations, convenience stores), and not those you visit on a weekly/semi-weekly basis (i.e. everywhere else). And because of that work experience, I have developed a high/low tolerance of honest mistakes/stupid behavior.

So without further ado, a few examples of those businesses that have lost me as a semi-regular/regular customer, due to their perceived stupid behavior.

August 1, 2014

Economics Killed The Radio Stars

Time now, for another edition of the request and dedication hour. Mr. Kielbasa; who gives and who takes it, better than anyone, will now take your calls at KLondike5-4433.

The preceding paragraph was taken from the deep recesses of my memories, specifically, general section Connecticut, subsection Music, sub-subsection, Radio Stations. Back when commercial radio was good (oh, the early to mid 80's will suffice), personalities such as Mr. Kielbasa (real jockey, btw) would populate the airwaves with their own brand of humor and/or schtick. This particular jock would host the nightly request and dedication hour for 105.9 WHCN.

The reason why I bring this up was that yesterday (7/31) I read an interesting tidbit about another local radio station, 106.9 WCCC that decided to call it quits.

No, really.