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Thu, Oct. 3rd, 2013, 09:05 pm
Twiddling my thumbs counts as exercise, right?

So, Remus, don't you work as a government contractor in a federal building?  Why, yes I do!  With the government shutdown, are you out of work?  Why, yes I am!

Officially I'm 'on vacation' -- meaning, they're burning my vacation time while the government is shut down.  That's because the contractor I work for isn't getting paid, and they don't want to pay me, so they force their employees to take vacation time and call it 'compassion'.  All that means is that I'll be taking time without pay around Christmas.

Meanwhile I'm drawing, trying to get some writing done, and spending time with my dogs.  Jack is much more neurotic than I thought; he spends most of the day pacing indoors, although he can easily walk outside into the fenced yard.  Cinder is still a mellow dude, but every hour on the hour he interrupts whatever I'm doing because he wants to play.  Usually this interruption is a sudden paw in the crotch.

I'm predicting the shutdown to go on for at least three weeks.  If it goes much more than that, I'll be looking for another job.  I probably have enough in the bank to last six months but I'd rather not flatline my savings.

Ah, living in a crazy country is such fun.

Sat, Sep. 21st, 2013, 10:30 pm
We're calling him the Puppy Prince.

Cinder, the Puppy Prince, in his regal garb of freshly dug dirt.

Fri, Sep. 13th, 2013, 01:51 pm
Puppy Anecdotes make Everything Better.

I've been sick for the past month.  I think it started with West Nile Fever.  A mild case, but enough to knock out my immune system, so that I then got an opportunistic head cold and strep throat.  I'm on the mend.  It just sucks.

In this time, Cinder has picked up a habit.  Whenever I go to bed to take a nap or to sleep for the night, he wants to play but eventually realizes that I intend to sleep.  After he's decided that I'm going to sleep, he walks out of the bedroom.  A few seconds later he starts intermittent barking.

I'm not sure, but I think he's going around to everything that makes noise in the house -- the refrigerator, the cable TV box, and Jack (who by now is doing nothing noisier than breathing) -- and Cinder is telling them all, "Be quiet!  Daddy's sleeping!"

Once he's done, he lays at the foot of my bed and noisily chews on a toy until I'm asleep.

Jack thinks Cinder is crazy, which he may well be since he takes after his owner.

Sat, Aug. 17th, 2013, 05:11 pm
Meet Jack.

So, here's Jack.


He's a Springer Spaniel.  We got him from the Humane Society last weekend -- they estimate he's between one and two years old.  He was given up by a family who said he didn't do well with their toddler.  Jack is full-grown at 55 pounds, but still has a lot of puppy playfulness.


Right now he's Cinder's wrestling buddy.  (For which Chaia is grateful.  She's no longer big enough to be Cinder's sparring partner.)  Jack is doing a great job keeping Cinder worn out when I've hit my limit.  As of this writing, our 5-month old Cinder is 48 pounds, which gives Jack a little size advantage but not much.  The willful Golden is going to get much bigger, and will be top dog someday.


I keep Jack on a leash or in the fenced yard because he is led by his nose, and the one time he was free he just started running while sniffing the ground.  Don't know if he's tracking deer, pheasant, or rabbits, but he'd be in the next state if I let him roam.

Jack's a very sweet dog.  He knows basic commands and he's well-behaved, although a little clingy.  It's a shame anyone would give up a good dog like this.  I wasn't sure about getting a second dog but it does seem to be working out.  Cinder gets a playmate to keep him exercised, I get a break, and Jack gets a good home.

I've got a two-dog house again.  And that's my limit.  :)  Two is the right number, I think.

Wed, Aug. 14th, 2013, 03:42 pm
To summarize, life is crazy.

I'm so sorry that I haven't been journalizing much lately.  A lot has happened.  Let me list them, and in so doing I will promise to update you about each item in detail as soon as I can:

  • I advertised for Genocide Man fanart, promising $5 to anyone who sent me any picture and $50 to any I choose to publish.

  • As a side note to that fanart ad, I mentioned in passing that I'd like to hire an artist.  I got several applications -- without actually advertising for an artist.

  • I have hired a new artist for Genocide Man Book 2.

  • I have lost 10 pounds, despite living on chocolate, Prevacid, and the fear of being eaten by puppies.

  • Last but FAR from least, Mrs. Redhead convinced me that Cinder needed a playmate.  So I got a new dog.

I think I'll get you some pictures on that last point as soon as possible.  :)

Tue, Jul. 23rd, 2013, 01:36 pm
More pictures of the giant puppy.

I have been remiss in posting puppy pictures.  The trouble is, at 18 weeks old, whenever someone takes a picture of the Interdimensional Retriever without a flash he is all blurry:

"I choose to remain in this dimension momentarily, because you are scritching my ears."

But when you take a picture of him *with* a flash, it comes out like this:

"Run, foolish human, for I am kaiju!"

He's a very attractive pup, but he doesn't work with the camera very well.

Fri, Jul. 12th, 2013, 11:08 pm

And now I get a letter from the Weed Commissioner.  (A poorly spelled letter, I should note.)  Apparently I have too many Canadian thistles on my acreage.

Just screw you, Mercury.  Screw you.  :)

Fri, Jul. 12th, 2013, 09:35 am

My sink at home broke.  The handle just snapped off.  Not a serious issue: I fixed it with a $5 part and ten minutes of work.  Just weird.

I'm going to just lump all these failures and communication problems into the general category of 'Mercury in Retrograde', and just shamble on.  After the 20th when Mercury comes out of retrograde, then I'll see what I can salvage, repair, or build upon.

Wed, Jul. 10th, 2013, 12:15 pm
Any forum advice?

You know, I don't really have an OSC problem.  I have a forum problem.

On the Observation Deck part of Io9.com they changed to the new Kinja software.  I said that I hated the new system, but I requested posting permissions because I wanted to remain part of the community.  A moderator said 'no', disallowed my posting privileges and blocked me from the site.

On Absolute Write, someone asked in the Novels forum for people to say why they weren't published.  I posted a thoughtful, reasonable response that boiled down to 'I haven't written my 1 million bad words yet'.  A moderator then locked the thread.  When I asked why, they said that what I posted was so helpful there was no further use in that conversation.

On Boingboing's new BBS system, Cory Doctorow stated that he was not going to boycott the Ender's Game movie.  I posted in support of him and gave my own reasonable thoughts, basically saying, 'OSC is stupid but not evil, we shouldn't add hate to hate'.  My post was deleted.  When I posted to ask why my post was deleted, all the posts I ever made were deleted and my BBS account has been erased.

Is this the new moderation strategy on the world wide web -- to block and ban people whenever they complain, disagree with the majority, or be a nuisance in any way?  Is shutting down discussion the primary goal of forum moderation these days?

I'm running out of forums to post on.  Everything I've posted has been honest and non-confrontational, but I'm getting banned right and left.

Can anyone recommend...well, anything?  Should I change my behavior somehow?  Can you suggest a forum (on any topic) that I can call home?  I want to remain part of the cultural conversation, but the conversation now excludes dissent.  What can I do?

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