Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"Shut up! Do what I tell you! I'm not interested!" ...Buy my book!

I'm sorry this place has become such a graveyard, I really am. I write every day, and I get up at a ridiculous time to do it. The thing is, I'm working on the next Debris of Shadows novel, so I don't get out what's in my soul here the way I used to.

I've been playing with twitter a bit more lately, because it's a smaller format. Sometimes that's more challenging, to say something interesting (I hope) in a few sentences. I know some people just use their tweets to link to their blog, which, let's face it, is cheating. Ok, I do that too, on occasion. But I do try to write something of value. Most writers' (and other celebrities') twitter feeds read something like this:

Hey, check out my book.

Hey, my new book is on sale.

Are you an intelligent, well-read person who thinks mainstream movies and books are simple crap? Then buy my book.

You read Fifty Shades of Grey, and you won't read my book? 

Seriously? You know if that guy wasn't rich, it would have been a CSI episode, right?

God, you chicks are so double standard. Just because a woman wrote that...

You know what, my book is too good for you.

That's right, you're not good enough for my book.

...I never really wanted you to read my book anyway...

BUY MY BOOK, YOU FAT, WORTHLESS, INSIGNIFICANT, ILLITERATE FAILURES!

I wonder what would happen if I tweeted that. Would it be like the IT Crowd episode where Roy takes out a personal ad that reads "No dogs," because women only love bastards? (Hence the title of this post, in case you weren't paying attention.)

Seriously, this highlights the problem with using social media to promote yourself. Yes, I am self promoting, but I try to be as noninvasive as possible. There's a difference between saying "Hey, someone wrote me a nice review!" now and then, and actually pasting links to your stuff on all of your friends' facebook walls. (I knew a guy who actually did this.) Everyone hates advertising, even covertly, even me. Especially me. There are lots of people whose blogs, comics and twitter feeds I love. That doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to buy their book / album / homemade porno. Praise the FSM, I'm above all that.

Anyway, buy my books. Because you're awesome. ;)

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My twitter highlights from the past few weeks.

Debating some people proves that humans evolved from primates: No matter how logical your arguments, they will still throw poop at you & run.

Starfleet regulation 6398.4: Whenever the captain talks to an attractive woman, all speakers within one meter will play violins. 

Benadryl really needs to say on their box not to use it to slip your kids a mickey? Well that's all kinds of depressing... 

Sure, you can try and make a new Supergirl series - but will it have the A&W logo in every other shot? 

Why can't anyone do a Kickstarter for something useful- like a mouthwash that enables you to drink orange juice after brushing your teeth? 

My Life is such a total lie. Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch is where the truth is at.

Follow what you love, and the restraining orders will follow.

Future historians will look back on 2015 as The Social Media Threshold: when every twitter user on the planet had followed everyone else. 

Nothing lasts forever. (Literally, it does!) 

The Vatican should market transubstantiated protein powder. They could call it "I am the Whey."

For more words of wisdom, follow @EgotisticalTL . Your brain will thank you.

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Why I shouldn't be left alone

Holmes and I sat by the fireplace, smoking our esoteric pipes, when there was a knock on the door. It was our old friend, Inspector Lestarde.

It was cold for April, and there was a smell of good old fashioned British soot in the air. Lestarde strode over to Holmes, took the pipe from his mouth, toked a long drag, and handed it back.

"Someone has stolen the Queen's mechanical knickers," he said. "Her Majesty has asked personally for your discreet help."

"Mechanical knickers?" I asked, my eyes wide.

"A gift from the King of Siam on her wedding day, complete with a hydraulic corset," said Holmes. He threw the pipe into the fire. "The real question is, why didn't you come to me immediately? Why did you stop and get raspberry muffins first?"

"By Jove, Holmes," I said. "How did you deduce that?"

"Easily," the great detective said. "The inspector has crumbs on his mustache. Only a fool would appear before the Queen in such a state. Therefore, he must have gotten his muffin fix before coming here."

Lestarde rubbed his bare upper lip, his eyebrows furrowed. "But Mr Holmes," he said, "I haven't worn a mustache in over five years."

"Exactly," said Holmes. "You have sat on Her Majesty's request for all that time, knowing it would be too embarrassing for her to ever mention again." He dashed to the window, and yanked it open. "Police," he shouted, "come quickly!"

I heard the thunder of boots as a pair of bobbies dashed up the steps, and into our humble but cosy apartment. They looked about in confusion.

"Arrest this man," said Holmes, pointing at Lestrade. "He is involved in a plot to embarrass Her Majesty."

"Bloody hell," said Lestrade, as the two fine, young lads clasped him by be upper arms,  "I never thought I would be caught."

"What's more," said Holmes, whipping out a knife, "he is wearing the purloined pantaloons as we speak."

With a flourish of steel, he sliced through the inspector's suspenders, revealing a pair of pink, rubber knickers. The detective slashed deftly at the hydraulic girdle. The inspector's enormous belly flopped out, accompanied by a torrent of oil.

"Parade him through the streets," Holmes said, "and make sure no one ever tries such a stunt on our beloved Queen again."

As the two constables marched their grease-covered superior from the room, Holmes picked up his violin, and began to play. "His pot-belly was his downfall, you see," he said, as his fingers danced across its neck. "He should have been watching his weight." 

"Very true," I said, "but how did you ever know he was still wearing them?"

"Elementary, old chap," said the spry detective, his bow sawing faster and faster. "But surely you know that a watched pot never oils!"

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, May 11, 2015

Unholy Albino Spider

Heading down to work in my manhole... WAIT- WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT THING???

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Today

I just got home. Right away, my daughter wants me to watch The Count with her. These are videos that are almost four times older than she is, but she thinks I've never seen them before. Oh well, I need to enjoy the time together now. Sooner or later she'll be a teenager, and won't want anything to do with me.

I've been up since two this morning. Lately, I've taken to getting up at 3am so I could have more writing time. I had to leave for work an hour earlier (I had to take the bus today,) so I got my ass up at two. I'm determined to publish book two this year, but goddamn it, it's going to be quality.

Speaking of publishing, I met with a friend and his girlfriend to talk about self publishing. She has a few books planned, and they seem really interesting, a kind of Kill Bill meets Xena character. She said a lot of "publishers" and "agents" were scamming her, trying to get her to pay them to publish her book. I explained that there are a lot of douchebags out there. Traditional publishing only pays you, you pay nothing, and publishing on kindle is 100% free (unless you want to invest in a cover artist, proofreader, etc.) Sometimes I think I should get a publiscist, but I'm going to wait until I have this series completed. She asked if I knew about Doctor Who, since her daughter loves it. I just gave my best Tom Baker laugh... I'm happy helping good people.

I had a nice day. It was a sunny day, but it was my turn down the manhole, so it was just cool enough. As always, we're just trying to get what we can done against impossible odds. That's where the love comes in.

Anyhoo, time to hop in the shower, and wash the shitplant off of me. Wishing happiness.

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Sniff

After fifteen years of more or less faithful service, the Jetta is irrevocably dead.

Thank you for all the joyful memories: From the beautiful guardian angels who kept us safe and left their footprints on the windows, to the children who threw up on the floor. From the lady who rearended us entering the Lincoln Tunnel, to the dealer mechanic who managed to break something every time he fixed another. From the Cessna sounding engine, to the cool blue and red dashboard display that looked like the cockpit of a TIE Fighter.

Rest in fahrvergnügen peace.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Life lesson: never trust out of embarrassment or convenience.

Found out yesterday someone had been feeding us a lot of bullshit. In the immortal words of Ford Prefect, "Listen, it's a tough universe. There's all sorts of people trying to do you, kill you, rip you off, everything. If you're going to survive out there, you've really got to know where your towel is."

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, May 01, 2015

Let the head crushing commence!

Heading to Manhattan to see The Kids in the Hall do a live performance. Viva la 90s!

Scrape that goat off the windshield

"Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks,
And the rich folks hate the poor folks.
All of my folks hate all of your folks,
It's American as apple pie!"
- Tom Lehrer, "National Brotherhood Week."

It seems to be a time for scapegoating. White (non-liberal) people and The Police State are to blame for the riots in Baltimore - or maybe it's all the thugs using it as an excuse to harm others. Meanwhile, in Kansas, people on welfare going to public pools and the movies are to blame for the current economic crisis, while nationwide, we would all have a higher standard of living if the 1% and all who support them would just curl up and die. Social Justice Warriors are responsible for video game publishers being in cahoots with journalists, while men everywhere are responsible for all the pain and suffering every woman goes through every single day. Me, I blame everyone everywhere for taking advantage of my innocent, good nature - especially Hillary Clinton, the Amazon ratings system, and long-haired hamsters. What a utopia this nation would be, if only it weren't for ______ - especially self-righteous bloggers who pretend they're above it all!

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You need two wings to make a chicken.

Just a reminder, through these horrible times: The whole picture is always more than they'll show you.

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The new pecking order

They found my replacement! Apparently, he's an eggspert ;-)

TTFN
-Tony
 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

You just have to be the right kind...

It seems the Calgary Expo banned a group of female panelists and booth holders just for supporting Gamer Gate.  Apparently all are equal, but some are more equality than others. "Go home, gamer girl" indeed.

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, April 18, 2015

From the mouths of middle-schoolers

Mandy: Does Jesus live in the sky?
Mom: Jesus lives inside your heart.
Mandy: ...Grandma, that's kind of gross!

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Electronic Voting Made Simple

I read a recent news article about how easy the new electronic voting machines are to hack, and I just don't get it. To me the solution is very simple to design and implement.

To quote Scotty in Star Trek III, "The more they overdo the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." So here's what you do:

Make a simple voting program that is hardwired on an integrated circuit. You have a list of offices, and a list of candidates on a grid. You choose which one you want by hitting a button. Keep it as simple and obvious as possible.

Each machine at the voting place is connected by cable to one collecting computer. None of these machines or the collecting computer have wi-fi, Bluetooth, or any internet access whatsoever. This collecting computer has a bare-bones OS that can do five things. 

1- Record the results on the hard drive
2 - Burn those results to a DVD-ROM
3 - Copy those results to a backup USB stick.
4 - Print the results on paper.
5 - Reformat / fill random characters on the hard drive.

OK, now comes the human element, but there's always going to be a human element no matter what, right? The same way paper results would be transported by an official to whatever collecting agency currently collects them, the official physically transports the DVD, paperwork, and USB stick. Let's say to a county seat, once an hour.

The county seats compile and verify all the data it receives, once again on computers with bare-bones operating systems, with the paperwork. These computers do the same thing as their district counterparts, but the compiled results are transported hourly to the state capital.

At the state level, the results can be transmitted by secure internet connection to national data collectors as they come in. This data is verified over a webcam by an official, whose face must be verified by face recognition software. Sure, the line might possibly be hacked into, but while the data might possibly be found out, the results would be nearly impossible to change.

Feel free to poke holes in this, but I don't understand why something along these lines can't be implemented. Who in their right minds designs e-voting computers with wi-fi access and expects it to be secure?

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

You spin me right round

For the record- 

What I dislike about Hillary Clinton is that she's power hungry, and has proven to be for The Powers that Be, but somehow insists she's a champion of the people. 

I dislike her campaign history of nastily attacking opponents, then turning around, and becoming a victim empowerment opportunist whenever it suits her.

I dislike that when she was senator things got worse and worse for union members in NYC, yet she is somehow considered a blue-collar champion.

I dislike that any meaningful talk about how badly our electoral system needs a complete overhaul is squashed by the "Get behind Hillary, because even if she's not really what you stand for, change is impossible and you wouldn't want to see an evil Republican in power, would you?" campaign that seems to be gaining traction.

Then again, if the last two elections are anything to go by, the Republicans will put forth complete wingnuts that no one in their right mind would ever vote for, and do everything possible to scare centrist fence-sitters away every single time they gain traction. The rich will get richer, the poorer will get poorer, everyone will support their ideologies no matter what, and the "we'd love to fix America but we just can't because ______" won't let us, good-cop bad-cop dance will continue.

If I had to choose one politician who seems the most to actually give a shit about people instead of just pretending, I'd pick Senator  Elizabeth Warren. But seeing the way the Democrats screwed over her campaign to lower tuition rates (by tacking on a capital gains tax they knew the Republicans would refuse to agree to,) she seems to know she'd never have a chance. Que sera sera.

TTFN
-Tony

P.S.
My views on her are, of course, my views, and have nothing to do with how I see anyone who supports her. Same with those who support the far right. My friends are friends because they're good people. Nothing else matters to me in that department.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sometimes the News

I severely dislike Hillary Clinton, but come on, is making fun of her for going unnoticed in a burrito joint really front-page worthy?
In other things that are not the news, my daughter told me last night that she wishes that The Count was big and tough with giant muscles, so that he would "have ladies all over him." So, is Sesame Street now a gateway drug to Twilight?

I spent yesterday hand-winching up a five foot by five foot by two inch slab of steel. I know pulleys and chainfalls have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years, but I can't help but find it cool to see the simple physics of mechanical advantage in action.

Why can I feel so lazy when left to my own devices, but still feel like there's not enough hours in the day?

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, April 13, 2015

Back from the shadows again...

So here I am, waiting in the parking lot before another day of work. The furlough has ended, let us go in peace to love and serve the DEP. Everyone is parked out on the fringe, with only a few cars parked right in front of the trailer. I'm wondering if I missed something while I was gone, or if it's just in case of everyone making the same assumptions. At least there's no more ice and snow on the ground. 

My VW was parked under a tree for a week, and was thoroughly anointed by the love of Flushing pigeons. I'm actually, in a way, happy to be back. I work with good people, and even though I enjoyed visiting my sister very much and had a good time with friends, I can spend way too much time being lazy, if left to my own devices. At least I got a lot of writing in it, and I worked on a cell-drawn animation. I should really learn Flash, and how to interpolate between key frame shapes. I can see why no one draws animations frame by frame like that anymore.

Let the fun begin.

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, April 06, 2015

If there is no Denny's...

And the Lord said "Remember when I was drunk, and you took me through the Jack in the Box drive through to get some sobering-up breakfast?"
And the people said "Lord, when did we ever try to get you back down with a cheap egg on a biscuit sandwich?"
And Jesus said "Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, you do unto me."

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, April 03, 2015

J Arthur Rank Productions

Hitting giant nipples at the Musical Instrument Museum!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Arizona!

Yes, it was in the 30s this morning in Flushing, so I'm in the desert wearing a black sweater. :D

You are traveling through another dimension...

AAAGH WILLIAM SHATNER IS ON THE WING!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The question on everyone's mind...

When will 70s fashion come around again? I'm pretty sure I could rock a stylized 'fro.

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

With apologies to Stephen King

Does the Clean Reader sanitizing app have an Annie Wilkes setting that changes "fuck" to "cocky-doodie"? Because that would be pretty funny.

But seriously, Inktera, go cocky-doodie yourself.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Since no one is asking...

I have an idea for a new Trek series called "Star Trek: Misfits."  The crew could consist of Gorns, salt vampires, a few of Harry Mudd's bimbo droids, the Clint Howard tranya baby, and the captain could be a Tribble.

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, March 16, 2015

Next time, remember...


Day one of my furlough. Today I woke up at 5:30 am instead of Four. Made myself a bowl of barf (keto breakfast of my own recipe) and a cup of coffee. Doing my morning pages before getting back to work on Book II. I can't decide what I want to do for exercise, do I want to walk a mile, or do I want to ride the exercise bike while I play Wolfenstein - The New Order? The later sounds like more fun, but while I could ride that bike all day long, the seat hurts my delicate tuchus. Wolfenstein - The Old Blood looks extremely cool, but I'm skeptical because of all the bugs TNO had at launch. That's the sad state of gaming today - you have to wait a few months until the game you want is patched enough to make the price worth it, after everyone else had spent their hard earned cash to be beta testers and report all the problems. It's incomprehensible to me why anyone would pre-order anything digital these days.


I spent the weekend at my parents' house, playing my father at pinochle, hanging with old friends (Jodi) and my sister and her kids. My nieces and nephew made a pi pie. Trying to figure out if and when I can fly out to visit my little sister in AZ. I took my to the car wash in Bernardsville, and we listened to Jim Croce while we watched from the inside. Sometimes the little things make up happy memories.


I woke up with some insights from my dreams, but I stupidly did not write them down. Maybe I just thought they were insightful?  Anyhoo, have a good one.


TTFN
-Tony

Friday, March 13, 2015

Its Sucking My Will to Live!

I'm so happy I have a job, but all this heavy street work is murderlating my will to live.

I had a bizarre dream that my father was a Jedi, but unbeknownst to him, I was an apprenticre Sith Lord. Darth Sidious (aka The Emperor) was planning to kill him, so I had to sneak up behind him, and eviscerate him with my nice, shiny, red lightsaber. (The Emperor, not my father.) Afterward, I went out dancing with some friends from high school at a church Christmas party, and Jar Jar Binks was there. He kept annoying all of us, so we figured we'd just ignore him.

Here's your deep thought of the day: Sometimes, wiping the outside of our windshields furiously with windshield wipers doesn't do it. We need to clean the inside with some Windex, a rag, and elbow grease. That's a good metaphor for life, don't you think?

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Morning is Broken

Yay, alternate side is in effect today, so I am back in my good old fashioned diesel VW. It's not as nice as my new car, but I'm happy it's still running after being sidelined in the snow for six weeks. Just listen to the purr of that engine, like a phlegmy Cessna in heat. Ah, the happy memories...

I spent yesterday inside a manhole, wrestling with giant wires. My muscles and back are sore, I'm really getting too old for this shit. I had to rub Biofreeze into my upper tuchus this morning and pop some Advil. Oh well, at least my job keeps me active. Just think, people pay good money for this kind of workout.

Dawn is beginning to break over JFK, and I must go start my day of glamour, electricity, and feces. Ta!

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The sun is shining...

Such a beautiful day to be working outside! :D

Dem Bones McCoy

Good morning, friends and neighbors. It's a balmy 45 degrees, here at the Jamaica shit plant. Last night I dreamt that I was at my cousin's house, trying to watch a few old Tom Baker episodes. She had a huge, complicated sound system that kept tripping breakers. While we were trying to fix it, obese men ran around her house wearing wet suits. Feel free to analyze this as you wish.

I went for my final LASIK check up exam yesterday, and my vision is still 20/20 in each eye. This is one of the best decisions I've ever made. I wish I had made it sooner.

The sky beneath the morning moon is ribbed with clouds, lighting the morning like an eerie, glowing herringbone.

Give 'em hell today.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Shallow Thoughts

Good morning. I really don't know what to say today. I'm trying to think of a deep insight to give you.

Here's one: We think that the system is flawed, but really, is not. The universe is holding to a very specific program. It's when we try to change it that what we perceive as flaws, acts of God, or simply luck become apparent. But they're not really glitches, they're just the universe returning to its original programming, which may override or synchronize with our desires. 1 plus 1 will always equal 2, A will always equal A, and there are only four lights. It's like Robert Anton Wilson said: We evolved from primates, but when someone says they can't understand why someone acted a certain way, it usually turns out that the person was just exibiting primate behavior. Fascinating, Captain.

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, March 09, 2015

The Darkness, Double Blagh!

Good morning. It's dark on my morning commute once again, because Daylight Savings Time has really screwed me over. It's seriously time that archaic idea was retired. At least it's raining, I just want all of this God forsaken snow to wash away.

I found this really cool series on Netflix called Black Mirror. It's a British show, sort of a very dark Twilight Zone. Unlike a lot of shows that are dark just for darkness's sake, the writing, pace, and cast are top notch. Would recommend.

I've been plotting out Debris of Shadows Book II for the past few months, and I finally broke narrative grounded today. Who's got the champagne bottle to break over my keyboard?

And so begins another glamorous day of trying to get by with what I have, as best I can. We all are who we are, we all have a certain set of needs that motivate and guide us. Sometimes, all we can do is be as honest with ourselves as we can. Sometimes I feel like the only real prayer is the serenity one: to change what I can, accept what I can't, and to know the difference between the two.

Peace, love, and soul.

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, March 06, 2015

The sunlight, blagh!

Sitting in my car, waiting for the day to start. It's 13 degrees outside, and my car is warmer and more comfortable than the trailer. I heard Cardinal Egan keeled over right after lunch yesterday. I hope it was a good one.

The Sun is up in the sky, making my morning commute easier. Of course, that's all going to change after daylight savings time on Sunday. As always, there are people here who are clueless when it comes to parking. (For those who don't know, when I say here, I'm talking about work.) I'm very happy to have a job, & I hope I keep it, but I have to admit the dark and the filth are starting to wear me down. Now watch, I'll get laid off today. Why do we always seem to be grateful, and at the same time, unsatisfied? 

The Morning Sun is right behind a smokestack, and I'm watching plumes of white smoke become backlit clouds, swirling in silhouette as they dissolve into the sky. There is beauty in life, there is beauty in math. People touch our lives, and leave fingerprints for good, or for bad, and sometimes both. 

Obviously, I'm just talking out my ass today, and it's time to go in. Remember my friends, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can never pick your friends' noses.

TTFN
-Tony