Friday, January 27, 2012

Tweets of the Week: 27 Jan 12

Well, we've done it again. Survived another week of 2012 despite our best efforts. And what better way to reward ourselves than with a huge, sweaty roll of 20-dollar-bills?

Sadly, I got none.

Instead, I give you all....

CM's TWEETS OF THE WEEK* (now in technicolor):

@vscotttheauthor: RT @dcPriya: There is something about 2012 -- something in the air, the wind, the sunshine -- that says "This is the year dreams come true."

@LauraSherman: It's kind of fun to do the impossible. – Walt Disney

@scalzi: If I were going to micro brew, I would make "Mandelbrau" -- the world's first fractal beer.

@jasonpinter: Hipsters are just people who aren't cool enough to be nerds. #nerdlove

@YourMindMyWords: Remember: “Wishes are the dreams people aren’t chasing hard enough”

@JensBookshelf: Are we still anticipating the zombie apocalypse or have we moved in? How about the dolphin apocalypse? They're plotting something.

@EllenHooper1: Change doesn't mean memories are lost, but new ones are to be made

@mommy2harper: There is nothing in the world like hearing my three boys make each other laugh hysterically.

@timpratt: When God closes a door, I hammer a wedge under the bottom real good, because if God doesn't want something to get loose, I mean, damn.

@sheumais: @AbielleRose ... so THAT'S where my package ended up!!

@nataliecparker: "Writers aren't exactly people.... they're a whole bunch of people trying to be one person." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

@NikaStewart: I don’t have a problem with caffeine. I have a problem without caffeine

@quickmissive: The Internet makes researching for a WIP so easy. On the other hand, it's also really easy to get cyber lost for an hour or so.

@veschwab: I had a moment today, in the midst of fear & frustration & uncertainty, when I stopped, looked around & remembered this is all an adventure.

@SuzBrockmann: Put the iPhone down, writer! Just put it down and back away! Butt in the chair! Fingers on a real keyboard! Now! Do it now!

@Sean_M_Maher: Admiring the sunrise this morning my daughter gasps with delight, "How did you know those were the colors I wanted ?!?!"

@DeathStarPR: "I love you." "I know." "... You know what? Forget I said anything. Have fun being a wall ornament in Jabba's Palace, a-hole."

@DepressedDarth: The new iPhone is no longer being sold in China due to riots. Everyone knows it's the Droids they are really looking for.

@AuthorMJFifield: Sweetie, we're crooks. If everything were right, we'd be in jail. #firefly

@broslife: "You're not my type" is code for "Come back to me after I've had my third Cosmo."

@catvalente: Autocorrect is the natural predator of Tweets.

@badbanana: Einstein took naps during the day. So if you want to be smarter, my advice is to take more naps while having an IQ of 160.

@WhatTheFFacts: The fruit was called orange before the color. The color used to be called geoluhread, which just meant yellow-red.

@TheRomiDames: I know I live in the future because I just had to plug in my book.

@Amelia_blogger: "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." - MLK

@RebeccaLucente: "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was emotionally unavailable and lived thousands of miles away like me?" - Twitter flirting

@KellyMeding: To the people freaking out because Wikipedia is dark, here's a novel idea: crack open an encyclopedia or something.

@AuthorMJFifield: Some people just need a high five. In the face. With a chair. #truestory

@strandedhero: You can write a novel without really thinking, but when it comes time to edit you don't have a choice anymore. #amediting

@@JimGaffigan: When is it going to be my turn to be George Clooney’s girlfriend?

@SuzBrockmann: I think of taxes as an investment in my country. I kinda like America, and think investing in it is a good thing.

@AbielleRose: I'll give anyone 1,000,000,000,000.00 if they come finish this desk for me. I'm sick of screwing stuff!

@AbielleRose: F***. I'm drunk. And I have a hammer.

@alan_tudyk: love is the potato, that runs the potato battery, that runs me.

@karenstivali: Just read the word "villain" as "vitamin". I must be evil.

@SandyBoynton: An unexpected umlaut can add ironic flair to a humdrum word. For example: hümdrüm.

@alan_tudyk: I work to bring home the bacon; I have a friend who's a ham; an enemy who's a swine; I have a woman I pork..sorry... I'm being a pig.

Aaaaand scene. Have a great weekend, everyone!

*Note: As with all TotW, it’s really the past couple. Also, all tweets are kinda' as they appear in my feed to include RT credits (when able), trends, misspells, poor punctuation, lies, these are not the droids you're looking for, but I was going to go to Toshie Station to pick up some power converters, hokey religeons and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side, and that's no moon,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cleaning the Basement

This past weekend, CobraMrsFit and I began the long, agonizing journey of cleaning the basement at my folks place. This was due in part to needing a place to put the lumber that's going to become hardwood floors, but it was also because I've been an adult longer than I was ever a kid and yet I still have crap in my parent's basement.*

And crap is the only word that can describe it.

I'll spare you the gory details, but there were a few notable items among the mounds and mounds of garbage.

1) Folders from Freshman year of college, complete with notes. You can even see where I dozed off. "Let's see, if two trains left at...zzzzzzz....."

2) A cassette player still in its packaging. That'll come in real handy when I make a mix tape for CobraMrsFit.

3) A box of my favorite books I thought long-gone.

4) A box with all my cookbooks, also thought lost to the ravages of time/moving a lot in the previous career.

5) Approximately 47 old movie ticket stubs.

6) A set of golf clubs my grandfather gave me when I was 8. Steel shafts and wooden heads.

7) 5 rocks (for the geologists in the crowd: 3 granite, one marble, and one purple geode).

8) An old journal with only one entry which begins, "I have decided that I will actually keep up with a journal this time."

9) My very first attempt at writing a novel. It is, in a word, atrocious. However, it's now in a folder with the other WIPs to remind me of where I started and that with enough effort, there are places I can go.

10) My all-time favorite: A love letter to CobraMrsFit that I never sent because 13-years-ago me completely chickened out. And yes, I finally gave it to her.

The list goes on an on. Suffice to say, I plan to clean more than once a decade from now on, but it was a wonderful (if not disgustingly dirty) trip down memory lane.

How about you all? Any tales of Stuff You Found?

*okay, quick note about this so you all don't think me a complete slacker: I moved back to the DC area exactly 7 minutes after the housing bubble collapsed and wound up at the folks place for a while because 1) every place I tried to buy got snatched up by investors with cash and B) the banks weren't lending money. Because of the time-lapse, all three bedrooms of my old house showed up before I could find a place. The boxes went into the basement and have been there ever since. The moral of the story: gut your place before you move!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Blackout (or, Learning to Navigate Old School)

Today a number of websites are protesting the SOPA/PIPA bills currently in Congress by going into Blackout mode. Some, like Google, are symbolic (meaning you can still use their search engine):

Others, like Wikipedia, are full-on, Gandalf style You-Shall-Not-Pass blacked out:


Without getting into the political hot-tub that is the SOPA/PIPA debate, I'll offer a quick note about navigation. In the previous career, navigating from Point A to Point Q was accomplished by any number of whiz-bang gadgets like GPS, ADF, VOR, TACANs, etc.*** And while these were all well and good, we didn't get to use them until later. Much, much later. Instead, we learned how to navigate Old School:


Yes, exactly like that. Just replace the beer, co-eds, parties, and streaking with a compass, maps, ticks, bees, snakes, and the old Mark-1 Eyeball. There's nothing quite like trying to find a white mailbox in the middle of the Virginia woods with nothing but a compass and map, all while fleeing swarms of angry yellow jackets.

Old School, baby.

I'm sure you're asking, "But, CM, what does this have to do with Teh Day O' Blackoutz?" At least, I hope you are, cause otherwise I'm talking to myself...

The point is that we have a lot of technological gadgets that make life easier. Wikipedia has been a phenomenal resource for me whilst conducting research for different WIPs. And Google? Egads, it's like oxygen to the Interwebz. 99.99999999% of my surfing on the web consists of at least one pass through their search engines.

But what if these sites were down for good? What if SOPA and PIPA really did hamstring the Internet so that information was censored/limited? What then?

Well folks, after a massive amount of dismay and protests, we'd have to learn how to navigate Old School. Remember Encyclopedia Britannica? And libraries with data on microfiche? For an older generation, our research consisted of asking the scary librarian where the heck to find newspapers from 1872. And, after a long, piecing glare, he/she would direct us to the back where old, antiquated machines or *GASP*, shelves upon shelves of books waited! Then we'd grab a dozen and read, read, read, read, take notes, read, nod off, read, etc. It was long and agonizing, but that was the world before Wikipedia.

And if push came to shove, we'd be right there once again.

Now I'm not saying that SOPA and PIPA are going to drive us back to the Stone Age of the Digital Age, nor am I supporting their cause. I'm against piracy just as much as the next guy, but as with all things, it needs to be dealt with using a scalpel and not a Daisy Cutter.

However if, and we're going full-bore hypothetical IF here, we lost sites like Wikipedia and Google forever, we'd survive. The adjustment would be painful (and I'd be the first one in line demanding they come back), but we would overcome. We'd rediscover encyclopedias and we'd fill the libraries once more. Like celestial navigation, it'd be a lot less efficient, but we would learn how to deal without the sexy gadgets. Believe it or not, humans have an amazing ability to relearn Old School when they have to.

Let's just hope that it doesn't come to that.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to use Google to relearn how to navigate in the woods of Virginia with nothing but a map and compass. 'Cause I'm Old School.

*image courtesy of:

**image courtesy of: Note: several attempts to research Serket and other Egyptian gods brought this page up.

***I know, lots of acronyms. All navigation technology. Trust me.

**** image courtesy of:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Remembering Ken

Two years ago today, the nation of Haiti suffered a horrific earthquake that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. Among them was my buddy, Ken.

I'll keep this short(ish) since death is kind of a morose topic, but the point I want to make is how important it is to remember those we care about. People fade from existence all the time, but the truly amazing ones deserve to be remembered. Maybe not a plaque or building named after them, but a raised glass in the bar at the very least.

Ken was, without a doubt, one of the finest gentlemen I ever knew. He was funny, easy-going, and a hell of a good pilot. An exchange pilot from the Air Force, Ken was our "Dash 2" on countless night missions. During one engagement, his Huey took several rounds, but you'd never know it talking with him afterwards. He laughed about it, showed me the bullet holes, and then wanted to watch Family Guy on DVD.

Calm and collected doesn't even begin to describe him.

But the most vivid memory was during an especially long stint at an outlying "base" ten miles from nowhere. It was the middle of the night and were sitting in the Air Boss tent, sweating our asses off, when a handful of mortar rounds landed nearby, one about 100 yards from our position. The concussion rattled our teeth and me, Kenny, and the rest of the guys bolted for the HESCO barriers just outside. Unlike the normal tall ones, these were less than waist high. Ken and I were crouched down beside them, eyes wide with fear and surprise when he started laughing. I asked him what was so funny and he pointed to the barrier and said something to the effect of, "Like these little things are going to help if we take a direct hit." I dunno, maybe it was stress or exhaustion, but that was the funniest damn comment of the night and we both lost it, laughing until tears soaked the sand at our feet.

That's how I remember him: A smile and a laugh during the worst of times.

Which is why his death in Haiti was such a shock. He survived combat only to die in the rubble of a hotel in Port Au Prince. It seems unfair, but it just goes to show how delicate life is and proves that we need to cherish those we love while we can. It also goes to show just how important it is to laugh as often as possible.

And Ken certainly set the example.

So Ken, I'll raise a glass to you this evening and send up a prayer for your wife and kids. You left the earth far too soon, but there will always be a cold Shiner Bock in the "Remembrance Plaque" at the O-Club for you and the rest of the ones we lost.

Thanks for the laughs, bud. You are sorely missed.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tweets of the Week: 06 Jan 12

So here we are, almost a week into 2012 and it still has the New Year smell to it. And what better way to celebrate than this year's first installment of:


@ericjkrause: Ah, nothing like walking through a crowded public place to restore one’s hate of humanity.

@lazerdoov: I can’t prove God isn’t real, but at the same time, I can’t prove that my dog doesn’t run a violent
Asian street
gang while I’m asleep.

@iamQuddus: if something’s not working in your life-change it-don’t wait for a new calendar year to prompt improvement.

@scalzi: Every time a singer overemotes in a Christmas song, an angel’s wings are torn off and fed to a feral cat.

@Lord_Voldemort7: #WhatILearnedThisYear: When you’re sad, just remember that it’s the demetors fault and it’s perfectly fine to eat loads of chocolate.

@Fatihah_Iman: I think I’d like to write a book that gets released after I die. It will start: “Heaven is AWESOME. There’s so much chocolate!”

@AbielleRose: I believe in the sun, even when its not shining. I believe in love, even when it I don’t feel it. I believe in hope, even when no ones there

@AbielleRose: @TiffanyAllee @BigWords88 Hey baby, wanna bite my big, glazed doughnuts?

@HillaryJacques: Rage, thy name is road. A holiday isn’t an excuse to be an asshat, people.

@JenLucPiquant: Betteridge’s Law of Headlines: “Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word, ‘no’”

@ispeakfemale: If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. It’s as simple as that.

@JensBookshelf: Anyone who says sarcasm is the lowest form of wit isn’t doing it properly.

@LizzieSavage: the term “expecting” for pregnancy makes it sound like theres more than one outcome. “we’re expecting a baby, but it could be a velociraptor.”

@JensBookshelf: Man walks into a library: “Fish & chips please.”
Librarian: “This is a library!”
Man: “Sorry.” *whispers* “Fish & chips, please.”

@JLeaLopex: It’s PIQUED, people! Not PEAKED! They do not mean the same thing! #petpeeve

@BradWalsh: You can help victims of Accidentally Sexual Auto-Correction for just penis a day…

@MusclesGlasses: New Years Resolution: Kill more of what I eat with my bare hands.

@billamend: Open a bag of Cheetos at noon and it lasts for days. Open one at midnight and it’s gone in 30 minutes.

@jjunebrown: “A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.” – Franz Kafka

@joseph_ocon: Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. Piss on my leg and tell me I’m pretty.

@BookaliciousPam: I just realized the world isn’t going to end in 2012. Marty McFly time traveled to 2015…. #MayansLie

@misterkristoff: If you live life afraid of offending people with the words you write or the things you say, you’’’ NEVER write or say anything important.

@simmertilldone: It’s Thanksgiving, it’s Christmas, it’s Hanukkah, it’s new Years and then, with no warning, it’s just Tuesday.

@EvanJGregory: Just because you’re crass doesn’t mean you’re funny.

@Heir2Harlem: Life is a reflection of what you think, if thoughts are filled with negativity, the world echos your energy’s action.

@ForeverImmature: What to do with a mistake: Recognize it, admit it and learn from it.

@NathanFillion: Overheard at the coffee shop.

Him – I broke up with my girlfriend.
Her – Oh, no! When?
Him – As soon as she gets this text.

@AbsoluteWrite: It bears saying again- Righteous indignation is a lot like drinking good martinis: it’s SO hard to recognize the appropriate stopping point.

@ForeverImmature: Affection + Attention + Appreciation = Long Lasting Relationship.

Whew! Thanks to those who stayed to the end. Have a great weekend and here's hoping 2012 is off to a great start for you.

*Note: Okay, there are a lot of better ways, but humor me here. Also, as with all TotW, it’s really the past couple, including the holidays. And finally, all tweets are kinda' as they appear in my feed to include RT credits (when able), trends, misspells, poor punctuation, lies, new and improved formula, 33% more action, fights tough stains, and stronger than the leading competitor!