Sunday, November 29, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

A New Runner and New Thin Man

Yesterday, fellow writer (and now runner) Bernadette completed her first 5K without stopping. That's 3.1 miles on a course I ran four years ago and know contains literal ups and downs. Bravo, Bernadette. (I run vicariously these days, eliminating the need for expensive shoes.)

At the in-laws yesterday for dinner. One 23-year-old family member dropped 100 pounds in a year. The last time I saw him, he was wider than Lake Huron. He accomplished this feat with nothing more than a gym membership and a diet of mostly salads. A shout-out to young Ezra for losing the equivalent of a small child.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


A short story, "Dagon and Jill," has advanced another rung up the publication ladder. This particular magazine employs a blind submission process, whereby you email two attachments: one with name and contact info and the other with the story. Relying only on the story, readers select which tales proceed. There are two such rounds before a story reaches the editors - the above-mentioned shortlist. (That's where I be, har.) As each issue has a different editor, the story circulates among them and, if no one picks, its a pass. (I have a one-in-three chance, so I'm told.) In the meantime, they've pleasantly asked me to send in something else. Oh, very well; if they insist.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Bane Fish" Placed

Black Matrix Publishing has purchased my short story "Bane Fish" for inclusion in one of their four upcoming magazines, Night Chills. As this is my first prose fiction sale, I was so excited I almost stopped having the flu. I'm not sure when it's due out, but I'll update with a link for those inclined to purchase a copy. Or follow their publishing progress on Facebook. It's been a long, barren year and this really raises my spirits - which is appropriate when writing for a horror magazine.

Duotrope Shout Out

If you've ever hankered to publish fiction or poetry, this site will have you knocking on doors in no time. Duotrope provides a huge market database, plus weekly updates on what's open, closed or extinct in the publishing world. Since I began Ten-in-Six back in late August, I've used Duotrope's online submissions tracker to follow all my stories. They keep track of submissions, rejections, and acceptances. Visit on Facebook. Alas, they are not eligible for Stimulus Funds and must rely on donations to keep the data base fires burning. Help out, if you can. They do everything but write the darn thing for you.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

La Jolla: Land of Sea and Lego

Hardly any sleep the last two nights because of sinus blockage. But I'm tired enough now to sleep through not breathing. Here are more Lego creations: the Hollywood Bowl and a unionized state employee goofing off.

Friday, November 20, 2009

La Jolla

Down there last week. Beautiful shoreline chock full of sea lions and one of those places were you can buy polo attire. (I resisted.) There's also Legoland, Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, and Tiajuna all within EZ driving distance. But enough of this brochure writing.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Got Me a Bug

Flu, I believe, but not H1N1. Just a garden variety strain. I hardly ever got sick during my running years, but alas this is no longer back-in-the-day. And today I no longer tear calf muscles, break metatarsals, or erode knee cartilage. A push, as the Vegas folks say. Sorta.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Did the Brain Secretly Jog?

Pinky clearly didn't. An NYT article tells the tale of mice, humans and the brilliant effects of running on brain power.
h/t: Cynthia Yockey

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Emil Does Fresno

Sore achilles tendon and all.

As for me, I walked a mile this morning on the Griffith Park bridal trails in a blazing 14:36, then stretched out. As this is my step-back week, post-walk stretching took longer than the mile. No soreness in the knee. I practiced walking with a slight forward lean so that my feet land under me. Over striding is for the young and those with sufficient cartilage in both knees.

The Department Goes to Pot

An officer says 'high.'

h/t: failblog

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shaken to the Core

Bollywood horror - it's different there.

h/t: N4S

Happy B-Day USMC

Celebrating 234 years of blowing things up and collecting exotic souvenirs. The rifles carried by the drill team are old M1's and weigh about ten pounds.

h/t: afneurope

Monday, November 09, 2009

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Walking and Writing Update

Saturday in the park, Griffith Park, that is. Walked 1.6 miles. Next week I'll walk a single mile 3x to ease back, then increase to 1.8 miles the following week. I'm used to walking during the week and having the place to my self, but there were groups of runners and walkers and cyclists everywhere and at once. I played a game, keeping an eye out for runners wearing gear from races I'd run, spotting an inaugural 2006 LA Half-Marathon and a 2007 Pacific Shoreline Half-Marathon. Met Ernesto for breakfast, than ran errands, came home and started on another story.

If I do a draft, set a story down, then do a draft on another, by the time I return to the first I've got answers to the more challenging sections.

Ten-in-Six Update: Five stories out. One has been rejected twice; another rejected once; and one is poised to sell, having made the first cut. (I'll know December 1.) I'm half-way to at least getting ten stories completed. Anyway, I'm having a pleasant, enjoyable experience. I hope you are too.



Friday, November 06, 2009

Another Walk

Around the grass field at the Rose Bowl. More t'ai chi before and after. One. six miles. Next week, I'll do a bit less and rest up.

Chat with my agent tomorrow about a sit-com I wrote this year. We haven't talked much since the big fires in August. But from what I've heard, things remain slow in the animation world.

Tom Ruegger notified me Carl Ballantine passed away. Carl did a voice on a first season Freakazoid segment called "Lawn Gnomes." We had a party that summer for the voice actors at a pizza parlor. Afterwards, Carl wanted to know what was for dessert. "Where's the @#$%&*# cake?" he asked. It fell to me to explain that we didn't have cake. "What kind of party doesn't have a@#$%&*# cake?" Clearly, he was hot for dessert and we'd dropped the ball. However, in non-cake matters, he was loose and funny and did a good job for us." Rest in peace and, hopefully, heaven has a rich dessert buffet.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

NYC Race Report

Emil tells it like it was.

Marine Moment

As Project Valor IT rolls on, here's the USMC 1st Force Recon laser painting targets in Iraq.

h/t: TotenkopfSturmbann

My friend Kurt was in Marine Recon during Vietnam, operating in Laos along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. He learned to be very quiet.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


And that's what I did yesterday - 1.6 miles on a soft dirt bridal trail at Griffith Park. A crew erected a large Christmas tree for the park's annual light show as I strolled past. I'm adding a little distance each week. When I can walk 3 miles without soreness, I'll try running a quarter mile or so.

Five years of t'ai chi really build up my quads and glutes. No wonder I wasn't injured on my first marathon. Now I'm practicing it again so as to build up my quads and glutes. There's a temptation to quit the whole rehabilitation thing and just eat. But then I'd start getting caught in doorways again. Forward, slowly, until my knee positively proves I can't run again. I believe I can.

Until then, I'm thinking of cancelling my subscription to Runner's World. The only section I read is food and diet.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


A little shark-on-shark action from Oz as a ten-foot Great White gets munched by a 20-foot Great White.

h/t: ElectronicProphecy

Monday, November 02, 2009

USMC Moment

As part of my commitment to the Marine team of Project Valor IT, I'm asked to post something Marine-related for the duration of the contest. Here's a recent recruiting video:

h/t: maxwalsh92

Back in the fall of 1971, I prepared to join the Army. A high school pal was supposed to go along but his parents offered him a new car if he stayed home. (It worked.) Studying bored me, so I prepared to sign up solo. But one October day, I heard a couple of guys from the neighborhood were joining the Marines. I figured I'd go with them.

At the time, Vietnam was winding down. And while there were still weekly casualties, they were low and dropping lower as ground units were withdrawn. Still, the bloody years from 1965 to 1970 had left a bad taste in every one's psyche. (As I've mentioned, from Feb. 1968 to Oct. 1969, 500 Americans died every month.) My parents' hated the idea, especially my mother who pressured me to join the Navy or Air Force like my cousins. (Forgetting my cousin Danny joined the Navy to avoid the Army, got married after being told he wouldn't be sent to Vietnam, then found himself in bullet-riddled Saigon on the second day of the Tet Offensive.)

One day I came home from work and my sister said Chuck stopped by to talk me out of joining the Marines. Two years older than I, Chuck had amazing hand-eye coordination. My friends and I used to act as beaters for him, flushing rabbits out of the brush on a golf course in suburban Chicago. Chuck waited on the fairway and picked off fleeing rabbits with a bow and arrow. Amazing shot. Later a Marine, Chuck served in 'Nam as a door gunner on a helicopter, shooting other things. Whatever he'd seen and done over there, he hadn't cared for.

At eighteen, joining the Marines was the first major decision of my life. And here were my parents and an older guy from the neighborhood, whom I respected, trying to talk me out of it.

I was hot to go.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Run Around

A most active November 1st. Emil Cheng finished the New York City Marathon ("sore Achilles tendon and all") in 4 hours and thirty-nine minutes. This year's race was the largest in the world with 42k participants. My friend Rouman ran in 2008. He said you didn't want to be on the lower level of the Verrazano Bridge coming out of Staten Island. (People on the upper level piss down on you - accidentally, I'm sure.)

Out in Arizona, Kate Freeman ran her first 100 mile race at the Coyote Javelina, beginning yesterday and finishing this morning. A sterling effort by a real competitor.

Speaking of efforts, Meb Keflezighi became the first American since 1982 to win the New York City Marathon. He wouldn't let the Kenyans drop him, stayed up with the leader, then broke away, increasing his lead for the last few miles and speeding to victory. Movies released in 1982 included: Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, The Twilight Zone, Rocky III, The Thing, and Road Warrior. I know this by heart since I worked midnights as a guard at a jewelry manufacturing plant, lived in a hot apartment, and went to the movies in the afternoon, more for the air conditioning than anything else. Afternoon movies in Hollywood during the early 80s will be the subject of another post once I think of something wholesome to say.