Saturday, April 30, 2016

Appalachian Trail food

Went to Walmart for supplies and wound up buying way too much food.
My eyes are bigger than my bear bag it seems. But food is a real weakness for me on these expeditions, always having to eat the same bland, processed crap so I usually go overweight on the stuff to keep my sanity.
I’m going to try to go a week before a major resupply, so I pared down to the essentials for seven days. That would be breakfast, clif bars (ugh) some random cookie bars, and either hot lunch and dinner or a skipped lunch and a double dinner. Yay! I gought oatmeal again too for breakfast. I hate oatmeal but can never seem to remember that fact in the store when I look at how light and cheap it is. A week of gruel will surely jog the ‘ol noggin.
Look at that, it fits. You’re impressed, I can tell. Even room for some extra stuff. Gummies and fruit snacks I think it should be. I consider myself a genius for the way I tucked that pot in there. No need to keep that gas and the pocket rocket in the bear bag. I won’t be able to fit the medicines either but I reckon they don’t smell too strong.
Scale says about 10 pounds for the whole shebang. I’ll take it. Might even bring some extra stuff and eat like a king the first day.

Blogging on your phone with google docs, photos, and the blogger app

I use blogger to blog and I have the app on my phone. The plan is to continue writing posts in the blogger app and publish as I go. I thought it would be simple, but boy was I wrong.
Blogger as an app works well enough, but is inconsistent and unstable. I would write an entire post only to have the text disappear after leaving the text editor. I cannot stress the danger of this enough--draft your posts in another editor before copying to blogger. This problem occurred every time I used a bluetooth keyboard with my phone.
In addition, it is surprisingly difficult to attach photos to posts. If you select a photo from the wrong folder, using the wrong program, all you get is a black box that then causes blogger to crash when you try to remove it.
I then tried drafting posts in google keep and using the export feature to send them to blogger. Keep saves your work as you go I this was ideal. It is also easy to add notes via voice command, which could later serve as the germs of future posts. In addition it is possible to select multiple notes in keep and export them into a single google document. However when exporting the notes from keep to blogger the pictures never tagged along, turning into black boxes that rendered the post itself a minefield of potential crashes.
After much trial and error, I believe I have found a workable workflow for blogging on my phone, which is a Moto 3G running Android with the latest version. It uses the following three google apps: documents, photos, and blogger.
Create a new google doc and draft blog post.
Use photos to edit the photos you want. Photos has an excellent editing tool. I use it mostly to crop and rotate. Make sure the photos are on your device. If they are not download them or they will not transfer to blogger.
Add the photos to your blog post. It is much easier to do this in docs than blogger itself, and you can position them better.
Select all and copy your blog to the clipboard.
Open blogger and paste into a new blog post. The text and photos should carry over. The photos will appear as small gray rectangles until you exit the post content editor.
Save as draft or publish. Photos should show as attached.
However, this does not appear to work in airplane mode so I wonder if these operations occur off the device. Will need to investigate further. Lists do not appear to copy.

Introducing my dog Skywalker

I'm mostly glad he didn't asphyxiate himself. Trying to figure out where he got all these plastic bags.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Appalachian Trail First Aid and Pharmacy


My first aid and pharmacy kit for the hike. A little more bloated than I wanted, but as I perused the Walmart shelves I kept seeing items that reminded of all the lovely pains one can accrue in the wilderness. Maybe after few days I'll ditch some of the pills, but at least this is how I'll begin. From left to right:

  • Moleskin, for blisters.
  • Hand sanitizer, for the obvious.
  • Stomach relief, pepto-bismol, bismuth tablets. I can't recall using them on a hike before but they've always come in handy traveling to strange lands so they'll get a spot in coach. Likely candidates for abandonment. (Fun Fact: my auto-correct is dying to change this to pesto-mismol, which I am totally willing to try)
  • Vaseline, for moisturizer, lubrication, chafing relief, and occasionally kick-starting a fire. I wanted plain but all they had in baby size was what I can only assume is peach flavor.
  • Goldbond, if your feet get soggy.
  • Campho-phenique. No idea what this is, but it looked like a good idea to have a strong pain and itch reliever for insect bites, skin irritation, and burns—all of which I've experienced abundantly. Campho-phenique won my selection by coming in a small, travel-sized bottle. A cursory google search appears to indicate efficacy. I'll let you know.
  • Merthiolate, antiseptic. Another mystery selection. Google reviews said that farmers use it and it burns like hell so it must be good. Also chosen for conveniently sized bottle.
  • Red pills, ibuprofen, anti-inflammatory and pain relief. In a cute little nalgene bottle that an REI representive upsold me hard on.
  • Hydrocortisone, more anti-itch stuff. Last time I did a big section hike I put a plant in a very tender location (my butt) and discovered new worlds of discomfort. So this might be redundant, but gosh I'll let it tag along a little while.
  • Blue pills, diphenhydramine (Benadryl) 25mg tablets. Antihistamine and sleep aid. Why would you need a sleep aid on the trail? Have you ever heard some of these mountain men snore? And of course the antihistamine is for allergy relief.
  • Antibiotic ointment, so I don't die of an embarrassingly small cut. Fights infection.
  • Bandages of many sizes and shapes. Pleased with the variety, especially the itty bitty blister-sized babies. Might ditch some of the larger ones.
And it all fits nicely in a zip-lock: 
 



Thursday, April 28, 2016

New Release: Cloud Country

http://amzn.com/B01EU621WE 

Well, that could’ve gone better. Saru had found the blue-eyed girl alright, but she’d blown up half of Philadelphia in the process. Whoops. Now she was a fugitive, robbed of her implants, relying on her “wits,” hunted by aliens, Gods, and the monstrous spawn of fornicating universes. It was a crap deal, but it wasn’t all bad. She’d stolen a plane, a luxury model with a fully stocked minibar. And she had company, a rogue Gaesporan named John. And there was something strangely liberating about having screwed up so badly you couldn’t really do worse.  



I'm pleased to announce the release of the latest book in the Special Sin series, Cloud Country. It was a hell of a time finishing this sucker, a lot of jittered coffee hours smashing my face against the keyboard. Maybe I'll expound on the particular agonies later, but for now, hurrah, hurray, and huzzah.

The Appalachian Trail: Prologue

In a few days, I am beginning a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. There's a why in there somewhere, the same why that you could slap on any human endeavor.

When I roll the idea around in my head, I think of how lucky I am to even be alive and to have the health and ability to hike the trail. There's something inside me that needs to do it. I would be failing in my mandate as a full spectrum human being if I left that need unfed.

Plus you can pee wherever you want in the woods.

Details to follow, as well as a breakdown of my kit, helpful advice, and a full catalogue of the many mistakes I will make so you don't have to.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Review: The Martian

1. Red
2. Breathing
3. Nice bod
4. Performing surgery on self. Martian Obama care?
5. Disco is bad music
6. Eating only what you can grow in your own feces, new weight-loss fad?
7. NASA relevant? What's Beyonce up to?
8. Glad to see Donald Glover's astrophysical genius is finally being recognized.
9. Would have been nice to see at least one movie without a reference to the Lord of the Rings or Iron Man but hey I put salt and pepper on all my food.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Five ways to tell if your dog is actually an opossum

Baby opossum


1. She looks, acts, and smells like an opossum.
2. Baby possums suckle at her opossum teats.
3. Her name is Ms. Virginia Opossum
4. Nocturnal garbage raids.
5. Upon being bitten by Virginia, you develop the super-human ability to play dead.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Back in my day, there were no social studies. We were the social studies!

Overheard on the Streets of Philadelphia, ten year old talking to his younger brother.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Movie Review: Eraserhead

Eraserhead
1. Bad movie to eat a pot pie while watching. Maybe the worst.
2. Accurate portrayal of life in Philadelphia.

Monday, January 18, 2016

They climbed down three stories of dilapidated stairs and rickety ladders.

The building was occupied in the lower floors, ruined but clean, and with the green vines everywhere with the white flowers—maybe that was the only thing keeping the building up. They stopped on the thirtieth floor—fuck that had been a climb—where a heavy scent of cooking vegetables filled the air. The smell made her mouth water; all she'd had was that stick of Chew 20 and half a liter of bourbon. Her stomach growled. Hemu lead her to a line of scraggly-looking men and women and handed her a bowl carved of wood. They followed the line to a huge pot, repurposed from an industrial container of some sort, full of bubbling stew. They were served by baggy old women and then found a place alone in a corner by a window. It was dark and hard to see without night vision, but the hips didn't seem to have a problem. There were fires, which seemed like a terrible idea, but they were careful to contain them in drums and piles of rocks, and the whole wide floor flickered between light and shadow. Peace. It was peaceful. There were no city sounds and the people hardly spoke. There was a moan, some couple having sex in the shadows somewhere. She sipped at the broth of the stew—not bad, needed salt. Her poison sniffer said it was fine. 

From No Dogs in Philly: A Lovecraftian Cyberpunk Noir. Rated R. FREE forever on Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play. (Amazon users: If the book does not show as free, please log in!)

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Monday, January 11, 2016

The thought hit her hard—peace.

That was the word. The quiet, the calm around the area, the green things growing everywhere and the flowers. And she hadn't seen an elzi in hours. She could believe that there was something here, a God, a gas leak, a fluke of topography that made it desirable real estate. 

From No Dogs in Philly: A Lovecraftian Cyberpunk Noir. Rated R. FREE forever on Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play. (Amazon users: If the book does not show as free, please log in!)

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Monday, January 4, 2016

The girl had been bound and gagged, trussed up like a turkey, no signs of a struggle—she’d probably thought it was part of the game.

They'd slit her throat and then let the blood run into a trench about four inches deep, two feet wide, and four feet long. Now the trench was a rectangle of black, crusty, mud, like a giant chocolate bar. They'd scooped out the girl's eyes, cleanly, and then laid her down, spread her legs and arms, and unraveled her veins to make a blood angel in the dirt. It was the sixth girl in two weeks, and all Saru could feel—aside from an urge to fill the trench with vomit—was relief. This wasn't the girl; this wasn't her girl. She knew because of the flower in her hair. This was just a poor, sad, desperate woman who happened to have unusually bright blue eyes—she assumed. 

From No Dogs in Philly: A Lovecraftian Cyberpunk Noir. Rated R. FREE forever on Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play. (Amazon users: If the book does not show as free, please log in!)

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Monday, December 28, 2015

“In the morning, we will help you,” Hemu said.

How did he know? Was he the leader? He hadn't talked to anyone but her this whole time. But she realized that didn't matter. No one talked here, in the Communion Place, but they communed. The decisions were made in conference with the Slow God. They were all together here, protected. She could feel it, just a little, in the corner of her mind. It was a nice feeling, but it made her sad.

From No Dogs in Philly: A Lovecraftian Cyberpunk Noir. Rated R. FREE forever on Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play. (Amazon users: If the book does not show as free, please log in!)

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Monday, December 21, 2015

She could see the fab dozer now...

...a box frame on bus-sized treads with wrecking balls, heat rays, grinders, chemical recyclers, auto-assemblers, and three-dimensional printers. She could see the line of apartments it had shit out behind it—nice, two-story buildings with brick facades, for the young techies and embyays. It was a billion-dollar automated development device—it had to be automated to keep Hathaway's hands clean in case an elzi or a hip got caught in the blender—and Hemu was asking her to destroy it, because she would have to destroy it. It was doubtful she could get a sharp enough program to reroute the thing, and even if she did they would eventually catch the error and fix it. This would carry a terrorism charge at the least and you couldn't buy your way out of that. The feds'd strap her to a metal cross and rip out her fingernails, peel off her nipples, rape her with cattle prods and snap her bones, one by one until she confessed. There was no way. 

From No Dogs in Philly: A Lovecraftian Cyberpunk Noir. Rated R. FREE forever on Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play. (Amazon users: If the book does not show as free, please log in!)

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Monday, December 14, 2015

We follow the First. The Slow God who knows time and waits.

She came when the skies lost their blue and told us how we could live in a world of dark. From Her we have learned peace. We have learned simplicity. We have learned to trust one another, and above all to turn from the Hunger. She knows the Blue God, has seen him in other worlds beyond ours. They are not the same but they know how to live without destroying one another. The Hunger does not know this. It knows only Hunger.

From No Dogs in Philly: A Lovecraftian Cyberpunk Noir. Rated R. FREE forever on Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play. (Amazon users: If the book does not show as free, please log in!)


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Monday, December 7, 2015

The other…he was talking about the alien.

He knew about that. But to him it was all mixed up in religion. To the Gaespora it was a marketing gimmick. To Friar it was science. To this poor bastard it was divine intervention. And to her it was all just a fat pain in the ass. 

From No Dogs in Philly: A Lovecraftian Cyberpunk Noir. Rated R. FREE forever on Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play. (Amazon users: If the book does not show as free, please log in!)

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