BWK Cover!

Posted: February 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

I’m very happy to show off the cover for my debut novella “Barbed Wire Kisses”. I think Karen Koehler did an awesome job.

Advertisements

As much of a tech geek as I am, there are many times I’m slow to adapt, or often meet something new with derision. I’ve been rather reluctant to embrace ereaders, smart phones, tablets and cloud computing. All of that is slowly changing. I have a smart phone (LG Optimus V with Android version 2.2-best phone I ever had), looking into an ereader, and coming to terms with cloud computing.

Well, cloud computing with a caveat-when it relates to music only right now. Sure it’s handy to backup data using drop box or some other service in case my laptop crashes. It keeps me from losing my work, but I don’t always have access to the internet. My broadband connection can be spotty at times, and the 3G on my phone doesn’t always stay connected (nor is there always a wifi spot nearby).

However, Amazon and Google are changing that. When Amazon came out with its cloud service for music a few months ago, I signed up but honestly never did anything with it. Then about two weeks ago Lady Gaga’s album went on sale for 99 cents. I snapped it up and started playing around with it. When I first purchased the album I was given the choice of downloading it to my hard drive or stream it with their cloud service. As a result of my purchase I was also given 20 gigs of space to upload my own music. It’s important to note that at this time Amazon isn’t charging me for that space, as it’s good for a year. (Pricing for it can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/learnmore/ref=sa_menu_acd_lrn2).  After downloading a small program it then scans my drive for music and then uploads it to their servers. I then have my choice of streaming my music to my laptop or to my phone (another download that takes a minute to install).  Any music you purchase from Amazon does not count towards the 20 gig storage; an incentive to buy music from them (aside from them being cheaper than iTunes).  My only problem is any music you purchased in the past from Amazon does count-because you have to upload it to them. I’d gladly get rid of the ability to download the music and keep it in the cloud if it included past purchases.

Google Music Beta works the same way.  The only difference is Google has no music store yet, and given some of the problems they have with negotiating with the record labels, may never have. I love the interface for Google music, much better than the somewhat clunky interface that Amazon has.  Both take the same amount of time to upload music files, which only goes as fast as your connection allows. If you have a lot of music it could take several hours. For the sake of testing I just used one album and it took about 20 minutes. Since Google’s service is in beta, there’s no charges, but I expect that to change in the future. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to the amount you can upload to Google right now, and looking through the website doesn’t provide any info on this (www.music.google.com).

Once you have the music uploaded, and the apps installed the service works beautifully. I had no hiccups or pauses during the streaming and little lag between songs.

There are things I like and dislike about both, and ideally would love to see the two services combined to make one kick ass program. I also want a million dollars too, but none of that will happen.

Here’s the problem with these services and it has nothing to do with them as much as it does with the phone carriers. Streaming does two things: it can eat your battery life (mine went from 100% charge to 80 with about 2 hours of listening) and it eats your bandwidth. With virtually all carriers having some kind of data cap, it makes streaming music-whether from these apps, slacker, pandora or even movies, a very expensive proposition. There are some unlimited data plans on various carriers though they do throttle you after you reach a certain point. That more than anything else is what keeps me from wholeheartedly embracing the idea.

With 4G and LTE being rolled out, all of which have true inlimited capacity-right now-the devices capable of using them, and the areas they’re available are pretty limited.

The success or failure of cloud music isn’t going to be the products themselves, but the inability to even use them as much as we want.

Edited to add: at this time both services are only available in the U.S.

Dead West Promo Trailer!

Posted: May 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K165aAalCYhttp://fb.me/AZxLTStr

I can’t quite believe I haven’t updated since Halloween! I suppose like many things, real life interferes and I always think, I’ll do it tonight, or in the morning or whatever excuse seems reasonable at the time. I had no idea I had 6 months worth of procrastination in me however.

I suppose this will be a rambling, try and catch up on everything type entry-so here we go.

In December I wasn’t feeling well, I was displaying some signs of Diabetes, and since my mother is diabetic, I mentioned them to her. She gave me a glucose testing kit, and after tracking my blood sugar for a couple of weeks, and getting readings over 250-325 I went to the doctor who diagnosed me as type 2 Diabetic.  I’m on medication and it seems to be regulating it very well.

The novella that this blog is named for, Barbed Wire Kisses, was picked up by Skullvines Press and will be out sometime this year! ON the heels of that, my silence from the web has had to do with my writing the follow up to it, entitled, “The Coffiners Son”. It’s a sprawling tale, well over 100,000 words and I’m letting it settle a bit before I go in and hack at it with edits.

Almost a year ago to the day, I sent out the signature sheets for my weird western collection “Dead West” and glad to say I received the completed sheets in the mail today! Expect DW to be out this summer.

In some other Bandersnatch related news, We have some great releases this year! Two more chapbooks from TM Wright; a werewolf western from Eric Red, Dead West, and and an end of the world tale from L.L. Soares and his lovely wife Laura! These will start coming out in June/July of this year.

There will also be a sneak peak of my novella in Dead West, complete with another awesome drawing Noah O’Toole.

The past six months haven’t gone as I planned-though whatever does, but I can only hope the next six months prove to be even more productive-including far more regular updates on the blog.

Although in this case, it’s the lesser of two evils. As I’ve tweeted about over the past week, I’ve decided to go the electronic cigarette route. I ordered the blu cig kit (available at blucigs.com) and received the package today.  Below is a picture of what it looks like.

The kit comes with two batteries (the top part of the cig, where the tip glows a cool blue when you inhale), two atomizers, a charger that can be used with a wall outlet or a usb port, a portable charger in the shape of a cigarette pack, and 25 cartridges of various flavors.  It’s as simple as attaching one of the flavor cartridges to the atomizer and affixing it to the battery.  ONce you do that it’s good to go. So far it’s as close as you can get to a real smoke without all the tobacco smoke, chemicals in the tobacco and tar. This is a much smoother way to get the nicotine into my system.

I’ll be blogging more about this as I use it more, and the goal is to keep off the analog cigs and stick strictly with the e-cig. Color me impressed so far however.

Worst Fear Confronted

Posted: August 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

Which in my case was finishing a process I started 10 years ago; namely, getting all my teeth extracted and having a full set of dentures made. Since 1998 I’ve had an upper partial and that worked well for a number of years until my lower teeth started coming out, breaking off at the gum line or otherwise got fucked up. I admit the years of drinking and drug use didn’t help, but over the past 3-4 years I’ve been developing abcessed teeth every few months.

With a new dental college just being built not far from me, my Mother took the plunge and offered to pay for me to get them done. After several false starts due to expenses, we were finally get a price point that she could afford, and that I could pay back at a reasonable rate.

For the past few weeks I’ve been going in to get molds made, measurements taken, tooth color chosen, all in preperation for having the teeth I had left, including my wisdom teeth taken out. As some who follow me on twitter know I was having panic attacks about the whole thing. My biggest fear, waking up while they were working on me did come true, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

At 9 AM prompt, on August the 17th, I was escorted my Megan and Andrea to the oral surgery section of the college, where I was met by the oral surgeon in training Dr. Greg. His mentor, instructor Dr. Robertson was there as well. I was seated in a typical dentist chair, in a fairly empty room, and my mind tripped back to The Marathon Man, and Laurence Olivier doing some elective dentistry to Dustin Hoffman. I was given some oxygen, then nitrous oxide and was told that the whole thing wouldn’t last more than 2 hours. With the IV in, I was off to dreamland and ready to wake up all bloody and bandaged.

Well I woke up bloody, but its because they hadn’t finished. It was closing in on four hours when I started coming out of it, and were it not for the fact I was so doped up from the general plus the nitrous oxide I would have freaked. I didn’t though, when I felt something I let them know and before I knew it, I was done and had my dentures in. With a handful of penicillin and oxycodone, I made it through one of things I dreaded the most in my life.

Here’s the end product: http://yfrog.com/j3ibwyj

I spend a lot of time on twitter, probably way too much time. I follow a wide variety of people as well; writers, publishers, editors, cartoonists, and porn models. Wolf Hudson is one of the porn models I follow. I enjoy his tweets because not only does he keep it real, but some make me laugh.

And then there’s tweets like he’s been posting over the past day or so, where he gets tested for STD’s. Rather than explain it, I’ll ask you to watch it. I asked Wolf for permission to link to it, and he was gracious enough to say yes.

As you can see the video speaks for itself. I wanted to put this up for a number of reasons; 1) it’s a well done little video with an important message to it, but most importantly is number 2. I’m 44, and remember very well exactly the sheer terror gay men had when AIDS was first discussed. Whether it was referred to as GRID, HTLV III, HIV Positive, it meant the same thing a death sentence. Throughout the mid to late ’80s and into the early ’90s  I went to well over 200 funerals for friends and acquaintances who succumbed to AIDS. There was probably an even greater number who contracted other STD’s not to mention Hepatitis C.  Over the past few years I’ve seen a return to unsafe sex practices,  partners not wanting to use condoms, let alone get tested.

It both saddens and angers me. I hate like hell to think that all those men, women and children who died from HIV died needlessly. That no one has learned the lesson of practicing unsafe sex and don’t think about getting tested for anything.

Please, don’t be a statistic, and take Wolf’s video to heart. You can thank him by getting tested and playing safe.

You can also follow Wolf on twitter  @WolfHudsonXXX  and check out his blog at   http://wolfhudsonxxx.blogspot.com