Dog Ear
Imagry (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 05 April 2017 22:18

'll admit that it was an odd place to have this conversation, but that's part of the story so I'll include it.

My co-rider and I were buzzing along the lip of an asphalt road, cars clipping by dangerously close, the rain hissing down. I was getting it from both sides - my tire was spraying grit up my butt, and the co-rider's bike (in lead slot) was rooster-tailing water into my face. So I was already pretty speckled.

The conversation, shouted over the passing cars and the patter of rain on helmets, was about anime.

Japanese animation.

I watch a lot of it. My co-rider can't stand it.

I was going on and on (while keeping an eye to see just where traffic had gotten to) about some of the amazing stories I've seen on anime.Tales of down-on-their-luck bounty hunters in space. Tales of a demon who gives a vain high school student a means to secretly kill. A posturing scientist actually discoveres a time machine. A young kid joins a high-school bicycle club and struggles to find his place in the world.

He was hung up (he told me over his wet shoulder) with the blue hair and crazy round eyes.

I was hooked (as I gingerly coaxed a left across a slick intersection) on the unconventional stories paced in a way new to me.

Nobody sold anyone on their position. Eventually we were running in some tight spots and had to lay off the gab. But still, my point stands - I don't care about the appearance or the "believability of image". To me, the story is all. The animation is merely the prop.

But to him, the image was everything. Unless it looked real, totally real, he could not sink into the story. Black and white, subtitled, animated - if it didn't look real, he didn't get the story at all.

Of course, I mentioned (in one stretch after we ran a red and bought a breather from the pursuing car-pack) that most things I saw on today's movies, most CGI, it's overdone to the point of being cartoonish. Flyboys. 300. Pearl Harbor. All of these were awful. If you knew anything about the subject, they was laughably idiotic. But from his point of view, as long as it was seamless, no strings or brush-strokes, no words on the bottom, nothing to detract, then cars that exploded and machine guns that never ran out of ammo, sure, it was realistic (and, hence, worth watching).

But to me, the story is all. Which is why I poised this interesting question against the background of conflict, man against traffic, the eternal struggle.

It's for the reader to decide who is right.

Hint. Me.

>>>SEE THE DANGER I ROUTINELY FACE? SEE THE POSITIONS I STAND FOR? SUPPORT ME! BUY A BOOK! FOLLOW THIS LINK!<<<

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 April 2017 22:41
 
Dangerous (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 30 March 2017 00:00

ell, crap. Now what.

You might have noticed if you came in the front way that my website has earned a little crossed-padlock symbol in front of the name. If you try to log in (well, to comment) you get a warning that bridge out, no trespassing, and there be dragons.

I've gone through a lot to keep this website up. I pay bucks to keep host and domain together. When I got hacked a few years back I paid a guy on eLance (no longer in service) to restore it (as well as to create a backup method). I spend a lot of time writing all the articles and reviews - every time I think of something about books, stories, media, whatever, I create content. Currently there are hundreds of reviews, blog entries, even train hobby notices. I've spent hours blogging and generally enjoy it.

So the deal with the WWW location is that it has been deemed unsafe because passwords could be intercepted. What does that mean to me? Not much. Currently I'm looking into what it would take to move to the approved https format. But if I get hacked, so be it. As a reader, you have no risk. Even if you log in and someone steals your password, so what? It's not like that gains any more access than any unregistered users provide. And I'm always reviewing comments so if someone does post as you and it seems misleading or offensive, I'll keep the comment offline and contact you.

It's really no big deal (now that I've had a chance to consider it). So, the site might be destroyed. Maybe I'll move it to https or maybe not - I've got a pretty old version of Joomla running here and can't upgrade. But yes, it's just one more thing to be frustrated about.

The new media. Piffle.

>>>BETTER GET MY BOOKS BEFORE THIS LINK IS DESTROYED. DON'T WORRY - THIS JUST LINKS YOU TO AMAZON, AND IF ANYONE IS BULLETPROOF THEY ARE. BUY A BOOK, READ ABOUT ANCIENT TIMES AND FORGET ABOUT THESE MODERN HEADACHES.<<<

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 March 2017 13:47
 
Faceless 2 (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 23 March 2017 00:00

e're into the third week of Lent (or there abouts). I'm sure there are people going cold turkey, sweating that they aren’t getting booze or porn or sex or bacon or whatever. But me, with my Facebook ban, I'm doing fine. Better than fine.

Oh, I still need to pop in. I have to post up my updates (if you are reading this, you've likely come down the linky rabbit's hole to get here). That's fine. That sort of business drives this site and (occasionally) sells books. But while I can go into face to post up notices, I can't click on that notifications tab (with, current count, 78 throbbing, desperate notices). Also, two friends requests (sorry) and an IM. Every so often someone shares a photo or includes me in a comment - I get the email notification. But I can't go there. I'm cut off from the puppy-posting, political-screaming world.

It's very quiet.

Oh, it's not all roses. Every so often, something so politically stupid happens and I want to post up. But I can't. And sometimes, frankly, I'm lonely. My job has placed me in a dark little pod well away from any teams, and somedays FB was the only social interaction I'd get.

There are also those life moments I'd love to share. The wife and I did 26 miles last week on the tandem. We went to Folkston to watch the trains (and here came a brassy UP engine on the front of a military train, looking like something out of a toy train layout (soldiers not included)). Sometimes there are little observations, like riding in last week in just-under-40 weather (my hands froze) and riding again with my wingmate, and how we sliced in and out of traffic today, so much fun and so much elegance. That three-month Go game I won. It's hard to explain those moments - discribing them to office drones doesn’t really work well. I do written words, and that's how I describe things. So Facey is perfect for that - pop in, observe, get a bunch of likes, a squirt of happy juice to the brain.

Still, I'm saving a lot of time. No poke-ins at work. No hours spent in the evening writing a perfect rebuttal. But then again, all that time gets frittered away into Spelunky and Timeless and all those silly anime's I watch.

In a sense, the world is way over there on the other side of the horizon, and my radio is fading to static. I can't hear a thing. My thoughts and senses are only mine once more, not shared, not liked, simply reflected on.

Which is exactly what a vacation is all about.

The silence continues...

>>>SOMEONE WILL PROBABLY BUY A BOOK AND RAVE ABOUT IT ON FACEBOOK AND I'LL NEVER KNOW. MAYBE IT WILL BE YOU. FOLLOW THIS LINK TO MY AMAZON PAGES<<<

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 March 2017 06:21
 
Overdrive (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 16 March 2017 18:22

ell, it happened again last night.

I have this… idiosyncrasy. Most nights I have no problem falling asleep. I just open the window behind my head, the night airs breathing around me. A kiss to the wife, the lights out, the hop of the cat coming in the settle across my legs (only after the lights are out, mind). And then, the bliss of unawareness, the detachments from work stresses, the latest Go game, traffic, club issues, writing problems, everything. Gone.

But some nights I start to think.

When I was a kid I’d lay in bed at night imagining intricate half-sized cities I could drive go-carts through. Or I’m dream the details of vast machines I could ride through. All sorts of strange and wonderful things. I recall permitting myself to do this on Friday evenings (so I could wake up to cereal and Saturday morning cartoons when I damn well pleased), actually willing myself into this mental overdrive state.

Now I no longer invoke it. The difference between my adult mind and my adult mind on overdrive is not so much different (or perhaps the overdrive is less). But sometimes I’ll go to bed and my mind kicks in. Be it a game I’m coding, a story I’m writing, a model I’m building, a ride I’m planning, anything at all and suddenly it’s 1am… 2am… 3am. And once it starts spinning, it is not easy to stop.

I know when my brain does kick into overdrive, laying there and pretending I can just settle into sleep is impossible. Like children at a sleep-over, everyone settles in and then someone giggles. Another thought pops up. And then my mind is racing off, examining this whole new thought, marveling at its shininess, hefting its wait and practicality. No, there is no obtainable stillness. For me, I have to pull myself out of bed, go out to the living room and plunk onto the couch. From one of the bookshelves, one of the books cracked open to a random page. A small glass of milk or a slice of bread lathered in butter always helps. The cat sits on the armrest, having followed me out, blinking slowly. I read a couple of chapters. I enjoy the bread. The mind resets.

Then, as carefully as a nurse in a nursery full of colicky babies, I shut off the light and drift back to bed, not allowing my brain to even consider whatever it had spun so madly on. Chances are I can lay in my bed, the sheets so cool and the nightsounds so relaxing, and drop right off. I did that trick last night and it worked like a charm.

The thing of it is, Fellow Writers, that when this does happen, when you are afflicted with overnight ghosts whispering overnight plots, make sure you retain it when you wake. A notebook by the bed helps. Often a plot sticking point, a difficult scene or a wondrous image will still be fresh with you. Write it down (or, at minimum, counciously own it). Make it yours.

After all, you worked very hard to come up with it.

>>>I SLEPT SO WELL AFTER FINISHING EARLY RETYREMENT. FOR NIGHTS, I’D FUSSED OVER EVERY FINAL SCENE AND WORD. AND FINALLY I WAS DONE. SEE HOW IT WORKED OUT FOR ME – PICK UP A COPY, DIRT CHEAP, RIGHT HERE!<<<

 
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