July 30, 2015

Amplitude Modulation Of Your Radio Signals

I are back (inside family joke) with tales that would scare even the brave Walter Mitty out his fantasy world and back into the conceptual reality of today. Tales so horrific, so mundane, and dare I say, so ordinary, that you'll scratch head and yell at the screen, "What is this drivel?"

Seriously though, after seeing exactly 8 pageviews for Monday's post (six were from others and two were from me), I decide that it would be a very good idea on my part to write a post that actually made some sense, at least for those who regularly wander by.

So, here is my sensible post to finish off the week. You know how it's sensible? The title of the post contains language that would make the average person say, "What?", while the non-average person would probably whip out a encyclopedia to look up the phrase, "Amplitude Modulation".

If you consider yourself to be non-average, I'll wait for you to Google it, or in my case, Bing it.

Got it? Excellent!

I've enjoyed listening to Amplitude Modulation of Radio Signals ever since I was daughters age, when I'd first listen to Boston Red Sox games on my little transistor radio to help me fall asleep (shades of things to come, eh?). Nowadays, Amplitude Modulation of Radio Signals is my go-to preference of listening pleasure on the drive home, in the evenings running errands, and on the weekends.

And you may ask yourself, "G.B., how come you don't listen to Amplitude Modulation during the daytime?"

Good question, which deserves a good answer.

Two main reasons as to why I don't: #1, I get crappy reception in my cube for the Amplitude Modulation Radio Signal; #2, most morning syndicated talk radio shows suck major elephant testicles.

I will not listen to people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and the majority of frat boys that populate FoxSpoorts radio, because quite frankly, my IQ is just a shade higher than their collective shoe sizes and I won't lower myself to listen to a lifeform that is below an earthworm on the food chain of life.

I actually listen to New York sports radio (660 WFAN) because they have announcers that don't insult the intelligence of the radio audience. I also listen to some local programming because where else can you get a good spin on local/state issues. I also listen to some very bizarre sports programming. I used to listen to New York Mets on WFAN, but the owners threw a hissy fit and moved their programming to 710 WOR. I can barely get WOR because I'm like 100 miles away from Long Island, but I can get WFAN just fine.

So depending on the season, I can listen to the following sports teams on Amplitude Modulation side of the Radio Signals: Hartford Wolfpack (NY Rangers affiliate); CCSU B-ball & F-ball; the local minor league baseball team (long story on money grubbing owners and stupid politicians connected with that team. Yard Goats anyone?); Yale football (seriously.)

I do listen to the occasional syndicated talk show, but they are few and far between. I also listen to ESPN radio, but mostly for New England Patriot football (comments from the peanut gallery will not be tolerated about Patriot football), as their syndicate shows suck (we have local boy made good Rob Dibble, who isn't very good).

So my friends, this is my listening pleasure while I'm in the car or at home and neither the Frequency Modulation nor the shortwave can fulfill the need for sound.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 27, 2015

What To Do, What To Do?

Once upon a time, there lived a relatively old buzzard named Junior, who could not run as fast as the wind, but certainly could mosey faster than bird flying in a hurricane, which is to say he wasn't too terribly swift in the one-foot-in-front-of-the-other deportment department.

Junior lived in of those modern rundown apartments that are all the rage amongst the millennials, which is to say, poverty is the new chic, and while yes, technically his income was just above the poverty line, he wasn't considered to be poor, because it would politically incorrect to call a WASPy half century old man poor. Instead, he was what you call, lower middle class, in that he made too much money to qualify for all those wunderbar entitlement programs, but not little enough to be qualified to bitch about the lack of income.

So Junior, like most of his milquetoast-y brethren that were at the half century mark in age, was considered to be expendable, or at the very least, eligible to be downgraded to the point where he would have to answer to someone roughly one third his age. But Junior wasn't about to take his demotion in a horizontal position of any kind. No sir. Not gonna do it. Not even if you put him in a locked box for safekeeping, because you just know he won't fasten his safety-belt.........

My friends, don't let this happen to your fellow bloggers. Have mercy on them. If you should see a blog post like the preceding three paragraphs pop up on your screen, shoot your fellow blogger a quick e-mail to let them know that's no shame in saying the following words to the big blue marble:


Because there's nothing worse than coming to a blog post and seeing a title that was pulled directly from a Mel Brooks movie, because you just know nothing good is gonna come out it.

I mean, really, Mel Brooks? Mel Brooks? Mel Brooks? I'm sorry, but pulling a quote from a Mel Brooks movie is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. You're better off trying to explain to the masses why a deal with Iran that features absolutely no givebacks (like returning four Americans being held in Iranian prison) is a good thing than trying to get away with using a Mel Brooks quote.

Anyways, this PSA has been brought to you by no one in particular, but if you really need to blame someone for this collection of roughly 460 uninspiring words, then you should probably blame me, 'cause I wasn't particular inspired to blog today. I did have a basic idea on what I wanted to write about,  but this weekend was mostly shot to piece with family obligations to do and another very good book by Walter Mosley that I simply couldn't put down.


Sure it's noisy shiny crap, but sometimes even the noisy shiny crap becomes just a tad redundant.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 23, 2015

Powdered Toast Man I Am Not, But I Am A Reasonable Facsimile Thereof

Bonus points if you get the pop culture reference from post title. Extra bonus points if you do, but really don't want to be bothered with pop culture today.

Sarcasm comes very easily to me when my brain is pretty much a piece of charcoaled blackened toast, which is why the opening paragraph is being re-booted.

Anywho, we have reached this state due to the following items:

1} Post from Monday is causing serious stress.
2} Weather has been hot and/or muggy and/or both this week.
3} Serious lack of consecutive hours of sleep.


Today, we is hanging ten at Shooting Suburbia today. Come join me at a place where time has no meaning, logic makes as much sense as the POTUSA yelling at a reporter who had the audacity to question why the four American prisoners being held in Iran weren't part and parcel of this toothless nuclear deal (true story), and my caption writing will make even lesser sense than the EPA explaining why it's more important to protect wild birds/animals in Alaska than to build a road that will save Inuit people's lives (also true story).

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 20, 2015

E-Mail 2.015

Before we get into the main subject of today's post, I want to give everyone an update on my writing. This past weekend, I just finished chapter the III of my current project. For those who don't think that isn't much of anything, please keep in mind that I first write everything out by hand then transcribe, so it takes me an incredible amount of time to write. I'm currently sitting at 14,639 words.

Now, on to the show.

Disclaimer: This is something that I feel very passionate about because it is affecting my career quite insidiously. If the tone is too sharp for you to handle, please feel free to check out my Tumblr blog, which contains recaps of the previous weeks blog postings (please note, it sucks up lotsa bandwidth).

I mostly have a hate-hate relationship when it comes to business e-mail. I find it to be a smelly skidmark on the underwear of work and hands down, can do untold damage to one's career, especially if you have a supervisor who is unwilling to look beyond the 2% complaints, thus holding you to impossibly unobtainable standard.

Before  I go any further,  I must explain the difference between true customer service and pseudo customer service. True customer service is what you experience on a day-to-day and even hour-to-hour basis in your life. You patronize a business and expect to be treated not necessarily special, but like an equal to the person helping you out with your particular issue, because we all know that you usually get back what you put into it. By the same token, if you have crappy customer service, besides making a complaint about it, you can also punish them by closing your wallet.

Pseudo customer service is what you forced to deliver when you're working a large guv't entity, usually on the state or federal level. Pseudo is usually internal, and for the most part, especially if you're working for a large entity like I do, its dealing with temper tantrums from people who can ruin your career just because they can.

Where I work, it's mostly dealing with temper tantrums from those kind of people. These temper tantrums are the direct result of a deeply embedded dual destructive culture of entitlement/inability to accept the word no.

The litany of complaints I've gotten over the years just directly due to this dual destructive culture is absolutely mind-boggling and staggering. In the real world, 95% of those complaints would be instantly dismissed, but here, they're treated as the equivalent as the tail wagging the dog.

As a few of you have probably ascertained over the past 8 years, I can be extremely blunt/sharp, honest and have an extremely low tolerance of stupid. Some of you even had the misfortune of being on the receiving end of my retorts, which I have sincerely apologized for over the years, so you know how nasty, yet entirely professional I can be.

Over the past 10 years at my current place of debauchery, I've had the misfortune of creating that bad (in some eyes) first impression and it has haunted me ever since. To whit, out of nine annual evaluations 2006-14, I have only gotten a "good" for Ability To Deal With People only once, a "poor" once and "fair" seven times. This, in spite of the fact that I am told numerous occasions that they want me to move on because I can do the job, if only I would do better with "customer service."

Well, sorry to disappoint you, but this is your fault. You chose to focus on the 3% negative instead of the 97% positive. You, not me, have sabotage any and all chances that I have in trying to transfer out of my agency or even out of my unit. You, not me, have ignored any and all viable solutions that I have offered to rectify this problem, and because of that ignorance, you still decide to punish me.

And yet you wonder why I don't give a shit anymore. It's directly due to you, and everyone else, demonstrating that what you do speaks at 120 decibels, whereas what you say, speaks only at 50 decibels.

Remember, what comes around goes around, and continuing to give maximum effort for zero return is ultimately workplace suicide. Especially when you're forced to practice pseudo customer service and forced to swallow everyone's garbage, because heaven forbid, you utter the infamous N word (no not the one that starts with n and ends with r, which I find personally abhorrent) at someone who makes twice your salary, has 10% of your smarts and suffers from inflated sense of importance that is larger than The Donald's.

And that, my friends, is how you properly start off a Monday.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 16, 2015

Seriously, What It Is?

So here we is and as Steve Martin would say in a classic SNL skit, "What the hell is that?"

To answer, "What the hell is that?", we bring in the mighty Professional Professor Po-Po. Professor Po-Po is the professional expert that we bring in when we want to make a point sound very IMPORTANT. And oh, look! Shiny!

As I was saying, when I want to sound officious and IMPORTANT, I bring in a professional, because having a professional by your side makes you look IMPORTANT, and wait a minute! Shinier!

Like I was saying, I am a busy man, and I don't have times for things like research and development, so I pay some seriously small bucks for a professional, and wait just one gosh-darn minute! Shiniest!

Once again, G.B.'s muse makes an appearance, and after waving a manicured hand in front of his face, wheels him out of the den, sticks him in the corner, puts a Dick & Jane primer in his hands and strolls back to the den and sits in front of the computer.

Carefully typing away on the keyboard by using her fingernail tips, she writes the following:

July 14, 2015

Procrastination 2.015

Time now, for the lover's portion of the FNC Request and Dedication Hour! Mr. Miller, who gives and who takes it, better than anyone, is your randy host for today!

Well sir, it seems that procrastination keeps me waiting, unlike that funky jalapeno ketchup that no one likes.

I'm sure someone out there likes it. Is there a request or dedication you would like to make today?

What? A dedication? Me?

Well, not necessarily you per say, but is there someone that tickles your fancy? Man? Woman?

Are you suggesting that I swing thataway?

No, I'm not suggesting anything of the kind. Whatever way you swing is okay by me, so long as you have peace of mind about it. Now, if you don't have a request or dedication, why are you calling?

I don't swing thataway! What do you take me for?!

At the moment, I take you as a banana slug on the tree of sanity. So, is there a point to your verbal diarrhea today, or are you looking for some Luvs to tie you over?


Right-o then! Next caller! We have Pammy from Mississippi. What's up Pammy?

I'm not through with you yet!

Maybe not, but I sure am with you. What's up Pammy? Do we still have Pammy on the line?

I said, I'm not through with you yet!

Before G.B. can continue, his muse makes a sudden appearance in the studio. Putting a finger to G.B.'s lips, she then points to the telephone. G.B. gives a sideways glance to the left. She presses the button and instantly disappears into the phone. Moments later, a bloodcurdling scream bleeds through G.B's headphones with decibels to match, and it's all he can do to rip it off his head and throw it on the console.

Seconds later, putrid smoke begins to pour out of the headphones, while at the same time a dark colored liquid starts to run down the console and to the floor. Then, just as quick, a heavy claustrophobic silence punctuates the room with enough power to kill the dead.

G.B. pulls out his special stopwatch and presses the button. Exactly one hundred forty-seven and a half seconds later, he presses the button again and puts it away.

Clearing his throat, he says, "Thus ends the lover's portion of the Request and Dedication hour. Tune in next time to hear actual music actually being played live on the radio!

And that, my friends, is how you excise a seriously aggravating Monday out of your system.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 9, 2015

Pictorial Fun!

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside....

In other fun fantastic news, I sold a copy of my latest at work. For those of you who have been with me for a while, you know how extremely difficult it has been for me to sell my writings at work, so this is why I consider this to be fantastic news.

Additionally, I am not here here today, I am here over there, with over there being Shooting Suburbia. That's write ladies and gentlemen, I decided to dust off my old picture blog so that I could post a few pics. Would you believe it's been exactly one year and two days since I last posted over there. Seriously, if you check out the index, you'll see that the last post made was on July 7, 2014.

So my friends, if you click on the link, you'll be at a post that will occupy approximately two minutes of your day. Thanks for stopping by and here's to an upcoming fantastic weekend.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 7, 2015

Foresight, Or Gung-Ho'edness?

Back in the day, when I lots of energy (ha!), I would do a lot of writing in my down time. Back in the day, when I was going through the hellish journey called "querying" and when that finished, the dark, dank drop through the seemingly endless tunnel called "waiting for publication", I would do quite a bit of writing to keep myself occupied.

Through an extraordinary combination of luck, perseverance, gung-ho as all get out and moderate tunnel vision, I was able to produce enough completed product to get me through any kind of dry spell that might pop up along the way.

Sure enough, as it has been well chronicled on this blog, I've been functioning on a dry spell, on & off, for the better part of two years (2 years!). The good thing about this dry spell, which is not the time spent staggering from project  to project to project in a vain attempt at finding something that sticks, is that there's no pressure on me to get something done, at least for the rest of 2015 and probably the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2016.

We took advantage of those completed projects by publishing the first one in line entitled A Taste Of Pain, in May (as an e-book) and in late June (in print).

However, while I was applying what I thought was a final round of edits to the aforementioned novella, a random thought decided to stick to the wall of my brain, thus making its presence known. What was that random thought? The book that was sitting in the on deck circle, which had gone through only two rounds of editing, had as its lead character a young lady named Nikia. Nikia, in some aspects, was a good copy of the lead character in A Taste Of Pain, who was called at the time, Ashante: Vivacious, quick to anger, quicker to forgive a transgression when it initially originated from her, strong and independent.

So what ultimately turned out to be a not-so-quite random thought that actually stuck was to turn the aforementioned book into part the 1st of a three book trilogy featuring the character Nikia. On a semi-pro level, I'm not very keen on writing a long series, simply due to the fact that it takes me quite a while to complete one story, and even with the rare bullet point memo that has the necessary points on it, I still have that tendency of getting hopelessly lost with my own writing.

So while the first book introduces the character of Nikia, the 2nd will be a continuation on a theme. I think doing this trilogy as a theme, as opposed to having the character age (like they do in a lot very fine series), will be a lot easier for me. On a personal level, trying to keep track of those kind of salient points as a reader did drive me a little nuts from time to time, especially when I was reading a very long series (i.e. minimum 500 pages) that stretched out over a number of years.

I haven't really nailed down a particular theme 100%, although based on the content of both the 1st and 2nd book, I'm leaning towards a combination of sympathy, resiliency and doing the right thing. In the 1st book, those three points are introduced with a good degree of success, while in the 2nd, I think I did a very good job of fleshing out those three points. And just like the first, I believe I did a very fine job of carrying two major plot lines to a satisfying conclusion.

The 3rd book, which I've been working on in fits and starts, is a major gutting/rewriting of this good book. In keeping within the same vein as the first two, the lead character is a paranormal/hybrid, and although it is a fantasy, I believe it has just enough realism to make it seem like an everyday occurrence. Plus, what's make this a little easier to take on, is that I'm using the original story as my working outline.

In conclusion, I think I just answered my own question in this post: not so much foresight as being extremely gung-ho/proactive with my writing, because let's face, we all have serious flaws that we try to assimilate the best we can into our day-to-day lives, but sometimes, they do rear their ugly head from time to time. Mine just happens to be a serious case of procrastination that's borderline brain freeze.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

July 4, 2015


Yesterday, that would be 7/3 for those of you who are reading this after July 4th, I decided to do a little bike riding as a proper way to kick off my long July 4th holiday weekend (includes a vacation day on July 6th). Normally, this is something I don't really touch upon on my blog anymore, mostly because it's a mundane part of my life that I'm forcing myself to do because I's tuning into a seriously F&B kind of guy.

Anywho, the intent was to ride to the bank and the post office. No big thing, as most of you are probably saying to yourself 'cause you've heard me talk about me running my errands the old fashioned way a lot. However, due to some seriously bad customer service experienced on consecutive Saturdays at my local branch (1st was dealing with a newbie who didn't know how to do money orders and shuffled me off to another clerk who was just starting a passport. On the average, if you have all the proper paperwork and you're doing just one, it takes about 35 minutes; 2nd was being 5th in line as the only clerks on duty, of which there two, were doing passports), I now go to a local branch near me in the next town, which turns out to be a roughly a 5 mile round trip (my house to bank in downtown Newington to post office in West Hartford and home).

Like I said, the intent was to do that particular errand via bicycle. However, @ approximately 10:30a, the Webster Bank computer systems crashed rather spectacularly statewide. So back home we went to fetch our car to run our errands, which were ultimately successful (gots money for the long weekend) and pulled into our driveway @ about 1p.

July 1, 2015

ISWG Post #11!

Guess what time it is! Nope, it's not Howdy Dowdy time! Nor is it time for the original "Oh my God, they killed Kenny"! That's write, it's time for the monthly world-wide meeting of the IWSG, where writers from all around the world and all around the galaxy, as well as NYC, gather around the wishing well to commiserate and pump up each other's self-esteem until it's off the charts!!!!!!

But, enough with the jocularity.

Today we have a three-fer IWSG post.

#1: Today marks the 11th consecutive post that I've written under the IWSG banner, which for those of you who don't know me that well, is a major accomplishment.

#2: I've finally released the print version of my novella, "A Taste Of Pain". Now available at CreateSpace and (in a week or two) at Amazon, as well as a pre-order at my book blog. Clicking on the title will bring you to my book blog and all the salient details that you could every want.

#3: Today's topic, even thought it was covered quite well by the wonderful Ruth Harris at Anne R. Allen's Blog, deserves to be talked about yet again, because quite frankly, the well has slightly run dry this week and this actually dovetails quite nicely into today's topic. And if you're confused, imagine how my muse feels about my confusion.

Like most writers, I have a muse. Unlike most writers though, my muse is pretty much the spitting image of my commercial debut (take 2), with a serious kick ass attitude to match. And unlike most writers, I will bring my muse to life on this blog (see tags Muses & SubMiss) from time to time. Most of my regulars already know this, but for those of you who are stopping by to say "hi" for the first time, my muse has become my alter ego, so to speak.

When my muse graces this blog with her presence, all hell breaks loose, mostly because she speaks what I normally wouldn't be caught dead speaking out loud on this blog, and because I'm like most writers, in which I will beat myself up over my writing, it also manifests itself with semi-mild physical violence against yours truly.

While you may recoil in horror, mock or otherwise, over what I've just written, using my muse as my blogging/writing alter ego has become a truly worthwhile endeavor. Because, like it or not, as one of the strangest professions one can pursue, we are often too nice to our fellow writers and well as to ourselves, and quite frankly, having a muse that we can bring to life and treat as our alter ego is just what the doctor ordered.

To be honest with everyone, your muse is the dominant partner in your symbiotic writing relationship, and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that deep down, you really enjoy it. Because without a symbiotic relationship with your muse, your writing really is just dead in the water. And who wants their writing to be on the same level as Kim Kardashian?

So embrace the muse. Be one with the muse. But most importantly, treat the muse as your alter ego from time to time. In the long run, you'll be glad that you did.

"Did I do good?" he asks expectantly like Pavlov's dog.
"Yes, you did fine, my slave. Now go off and write me scene that does my talent justice."
"Yes my mistress," he answers subserviently, as he scampers off to do what was asked of him.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.