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Nov. 24th, 2015

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24th November - Defeat

To say that I failed at NaNoWriMo would be a spectacular understatement. Day one I made a little better than the required word count, and then November fell apart for me. My beagle passed away from lymphoma, and before I'd finished digging his grave, my well pump and motor died. I accidentally drowned a friend's mom's Macbook™ in the trunk of my Mustang due to a tie-down strap failing and a five gallon water container (because I had no well water) tipping over and spilling. I also didn't realize that the water never drained out of the trunk, but stayed in the well for the spare tire which is remarably water tight. I forgot about a traffic ticket and missed a court date. But ... it wasn't a bad month. I dearly miss my beagle, but I also look back and think that we were a good home for him. A re-home, actually, as his first family couldn't keep him and we took him in and loved him since he was two. The other things weren't fun, but they're fixed now. And my wife and I were able to celebrate our 22nd anniversary at a historic hotel (the Vendome in Prescott). I took a photo of the Goodyear blimp that I'm rather happy with, and I applied for and was accepted into a street photography mentorship program. Also, someone wants to pay me to do a photo session. I don't intend to go pro, but it's nice to be good enough at my hobby that someone would consider paying me to do it.

One other note - I started my NaNoWriMo story with only the barest idea of what I wanted to do - a curse that lasted 300 years. I haven't had time to write it, but I've had time to re-think what little I did write, and I'm going to start over and I think the story might become something that someone would like to read. So maybe I got exactly what I needed out of NaNoWriMo. Maybe.

Oct. 25th, 2015

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25th October - a last note before NaNoWriMo

My desk job involves actually quite a lot of time at my desk, and I've decided to make the time more interesting by subscribing to and listening to podcasts again. Among the podcasts I've decided to delve into was one called Damn Interesting. TIL that the naked mole rat is eusocial, meaning the species behaves like an ant or termite colony, with a queen, breeding males, soldier and worker castes, etc. Three days ago I learned that TIL stands for "Today I Learned."

Oct. 19th, 2015

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19th October

Pausing. I've decided to do NaNoWriMo, and I'm going to take the rest of October to see if I can outline my idea before beginning. If you're going to pariticipate and have an interest in outlining, I recommend using yWriter. I'll edit this post later to include the url for my attempt...

Edit 10/21/2015:  I'll be doing my NaNoWriMo at missing.city.

Oct. 13th, 2015

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13th October - nonfiction

I read mostly fiction. And by read, I mean listen to. I don't have much time to read with my eyes, but my daily commute is about two hours (and I work a ten hour day), so I use the windshield time to listen to books. About three years ago, I recognized that I'd had a number of notable personality changes (this wasn't on one of my caffiene restricted months), most of which were positive. The prior me would've recognized the new me and felt pleasantly surprised. I had a bit of an insight, if a somewhat obvious one, that prior me had input on new me. I was essentially raising myself. With that in mind, I started adding in some non-fiction books into my listening list. Spanish lessons (which may finally be taking root), books about writing, books about appreciating music, etc.

It hasn't really worked out, yet. I'm better at buying non-fiction than listening to it. Except that I think I finally want to. I don't know why, except that a newer prior me was influencing the current me. I just take a while to be persuaded.

Also, here's a mellow, uneasy Halloween playlist if you're so inclined.

Oct. 8th, 2015

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8th October - power on self test

Every few years, I'll take a month and give up Alcohol and Caffiene to make sure that I'm still basically the same person without the influence of those particular chemicals. Other than being grouchy for the first week, I usually don't notice much of a difference, and no one else mentions any changes (even the grouchiness), so I usually feel reassured despite the obviously flawed testing method. I'm thinking of doing that this November, and possibly making an effort to blog every day. We'll see.

Sep. 30th, 2015

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30th September - foreground

I take a lot of photos. In the past few years, I've spent a silly amount of money and time on my photography hobby, but I think I needed a hobby. It's possible that my hobby is responsible for some serious positive changes in my life. I'm sharing a special version of a recent sunset photo with you. This one has been run through a program to turn it into a colored pencil sketch. I don't take many sunset photos, because ... everyone takes them. And most people take them wrong. You don't actually want a photo of a sunset, no matter how rich and lovely the colors are. The sunset is a backdrop. You take the photo of something in the foreground, dramatically silhouetted against that backdrop. I think I've lived a lot of my life making that mistake - focusing on the background instead of the foreground. Losing myself somewhere I'm really not. The sunset colors are pretty in my photo - they were taken as the blood moon rose and the sky at the other horizon was in deep fury. And under that fury stands a city, straight and stalwart, man issuing challenge to sky with concrete and steel.

phx_skyline_pencil.jpg

Sep. 22nd, 2015

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22nd September - It's a good thing that I'm good at my job

Today, I accidentally stole the Town Manager's lunch by proxy. I'm chewing a bite of Chicken Parmesan as I type this sentence. A-a-a-a-and done. It was really quite good.

Sep. 18th, 2015

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18th September. A random Potterverse musing.

I fear that an encounter with the Sorting Hat at age eleven would've sent me to Ravenclaw. Today, I'd prefer Hufflepuff.

Sep. 16th, 2015

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16th September

I came in to work early today, by which I mean, on time. I've been told that someone may be getting messily terminated today, and if they do, I have a role in the process, changing passwords and locking down some data before there's a chance to alter or erase anything. I don't think it will be necessary, and I hope my superiors are just being cautious.

You're not following me on Facebook anymore. By which I mean, that I've changed the settings on my posts to Friends only. I tried, a while ago, to put up a post that excluded all my friends, but was publicly viewable. It seems like Facebook didn't think anyone would be silly enough to want that feature, so I couldn't. I'm trying to figure out a way to let you know about this blog being back up without attracting anyone else's attention.

Sep. 15th, 2015

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15th September - Suspicions Confirmed

I attended an all-staff meeting at the office today, the theme of which was "It's not a democracy." I work in government.

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