Maybe out by December?

Progress continues. I have a couple of good candidates for the cover of the book. I’ll be sharing soon. Doing my second read through of the book, this time though I’m having software read it aloud to me. It’s caught some typos so far.

My goal is to have the thing in Amazon in December. But I won’t release it until I’m happy with it.

We’ve been playing Dr Mario World on Android recently. It’s good fun, especially in versus mode. One thing that was pointed out to me though is that Toad isn’t a doctor.

Wait, what?

I’m was pretty sure Toad is a doctor in the game, so I said so.

No. Toad is a mushroom.

A week or two later, I was told that Toad actually is a doctor. She got her Toad to level 2 and his special treatment is useful, so now he’s been acknowledged as being an actual doctor.

So there you go. In case you were wondering.

If you haven’t been stranded on an island without internet access, then you know that we’ve elected a new president.

On election night I actually felt the same sinking feeling I had back in 2016. Then Biden came out and told everyone not to worry. We’re in good shape. The relief I felt was real. Then the following days came and I felt better and better as the votes continued to be tallied.

Regardless of where you stand on policy and what not, I think Biden is a better human than Trump. But what we shouldn’t forget though is that a little less than half the country thinks Trump represents their best interests. I find this very disturbing.

When I was in Spain a few years ago, I went on a tour with another American couple. Somehow the conversation was steered towards the newly elected president Trump. The guy I talked to shrugged and said, “He’s just the president. What could he do in four years?”

And boy did we find out. I wonder what that guy would say now?

But for you people out there who see conspiracy at every turn? Ever heard the saying, take it with a grain of salt? You should get a Costco sized box of salt, load it into a shotgun and shoot clouds of salt on everything coming out of the White House.

Times are stressful people. People tend to vote if things are bad. Twenty years ago? Only old people voted pretty much. Because things were normal and normal is good. And when things are good, people don’t feel like they need to participate in the election process.

I started voting a long time ago after making a promise to myself to vote in the most informed way possible. And not just getting some voter card in the mail and doing what it says either. Voting to me feels like homework. And after trying to learn about each proposition and what I think it means, I then make my selections and am relieved when it’s finished.

But anyway, enough about that. I’m sure by now people are sick of politics. I didn’t follow it much either until last year.

Sequel is getting closer to being finished with each passing day. It’s getting close!

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Holy Good Gravy! 4 Months Since the Last Update?!

It’s been a while.

The good news is that I just finished my first readthrough of the Buried Instincts 2. It took more four months, yes, but I wasn’t just reading! There were several parts that felt wrong or incomplete and when I encountered them I spent a lot of time editing and re-writing so that it was more enjoyable and made more sense in the grander scheme of things.

But yes, the book is now in a state which I consider to be “Beta” to use a game developer term. To translate, the book is now what I consider to be content complete. Going forward I will try again to the find all the typos and try to resolve any issues that don’t make sense. (Like Blake running out of bullets and then on the next page he’s shooting his rifle again.) Also it’s time to send an email to see if my lovely graphic artist has time to do a new cover for me.

This also means I’ll be widening my test readers to people outside of my family. I’ll be in touch with you guys soon.

As to how life in general is going? I haven’t caught COVID yet, though I may have and just don’t know it. No symptoms so far. This is not to say I haven’t had health issues though. A couple months ago I found out I’m allergic to an anti-fungal called Clotrimazole. That wasn’t fun. Then like last week I developed a sore neck. After my internet research I came up with likely possibilities: West Nile, COVID, or maybe I slept on it wrong. I’m happy to report the soreness went away and I have yet to develop any other symptoms.

My try to stay at home as much as possible routine is now fully established. I have an endless amount of things that I do that completely occupies my time. My weight has stayed about the same, and while I could stand to lose several pounds, I’m happy to have not gotten fat by staying home and eating to kill time.

I’m still doing Ring Fit on Switch 3 times a week, and have cleared the advanced courses and am now working through the master courses. They’re just time same levels with adjusted difficulty, but the amazing feature you get at master is that they upgrade all of your exercises across the board so that they do the same damage output. This is something I discovered I wanted while clearing the advanced course, because I was only using exercises that did the most damage. So I put gave my gamer sense a back seat and started just rotating in different exercises so I could go a more balanced work out. Then I hit the master levels and they do it for me! Awesome! And even better, they ditched the cooldowns on the exercises. Meaning that if you want to do mountain climbers twice in a row, you can now. Anyway, I like it. I’m looking forward to a sequel.

I’ve also finally gotten a handle on how to play Midare. It took a couple of months, but now I can play the whole thing with ton of mistakes. Practice on that will continue…

So, no promises, but I think in a month I might have Buried Instincts 2 at a state that I can describe as being a Release Candidate. My next task is figuring out how to get my computer to read my book out loud. My hope is this will expose even more typos. I also anticipate my readthroughs to go faster now that I’m pleased with the content.

Stay safe out there!

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First draft of second part of Buried Instincts is done!

Just a quick update, more for me to mark the occasion than anything else. The first draft of the next part of my zombie series has been completed!

Now the real work begins…

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Time is Flying… Somehow

So I hear there’s a lot of bored people out there. I was out for a short walk and I passed by some dude wearing a mask in a silver convertible waiting at a stop sign. There was no cross traffic, but he was just sitting there. A little later and a block away I hear tire squealing. It’s that dude, trying to unsuccessfully do donuts in the street I guess. Too bad he sucks balls.

Being quarantined at home though isn’t boring for me. There’s no end of things to do. Work on the next book has become trickled into any gaps in my schedule. And by schedule, I mean loose list of tasks I hope to accomplish. Exercise, eat breakfast, cook dinner, practice koto, watch the news, look for free video game deals, on and on and on. In between, I try to write and I get more done as the days roll on. I’m on the epilogue, if you’re interested. I’ve had two false starts, but the current attempt is coming off how I want it to. Soon… soon the painful work of self editing will begin.

I continue to play Ring Fit Adventure on a regular basis. I’ve arrived at the conclusion that I’ve unlocked all the best moves and there’s probably not going to be any more. So in order to keep it fresh, I’ve decided to be more picky about the moves I set when going into a particular course. I try not to use the same high DPS move over and over again, instead swapping in less powerful moves just to vary up the exercise some more. My latest armor/gym clothes adds 5% damage to yoga moves, so I’m all about tree, warrior, and boat poses right now with a little side of squats and lunge twists. Still getting my moneys worth for the game!

I’m also determined to finish Dragon Quest 8. I’m playing it on my 3DS and I’ve stubbornly decided to finish it before moving on to something else. I got past the part I was stuck on and then had to grind out some levels to defeat the boss. Then there was rapid progression of the story until I got to the next boss who spanked me. So now I’m in the middle of another grind. The way it works is I leave the DS on, but closed. Anytime I see it I pick it up and beat up a few evil trees. I’ll level my group up eventually.

I’m reading the excellent Condor Heroes right now. It’s finally received a good English translation and the second book came out this month. It’s seriously making me want to watch one of the tv adaptations (There’s at least 4. Heard the recent one is pretty good.) After I finish that, I think I’m moving on to something Sanderson wrote. One of his books is currently on deal.

Try to hang in there people! Cabin fever sucks, but this won’t last forever.

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Soft Apocalypse – Try Not to Go Out

Well, here we are at the California epicenter of the pandemic. I guess that means we’ve edged out the Bay Area. Waiting in lines to get into the grocery stores are common. I went for an evening walk and other than seeing the Swami guy on a bike that I’ve seen sleeping at 7-Eleven sometimes, I was utterly alone on the streets. It almost felt like being in a post-Apocalyptic world. Except for the cars that drove by every now and then. It’s still LA after all.

Some crazy stuff is happening. Some guy thinks the USS Mercy is not actually here to treat patients and tried to launch a train into the ship by derailing it. He said he needed to draw attention to the situation. I wonder if he tried his plan out in GTA V beforehand?

Then there was the crazy dude who saw an Asian family in a Texas Sam’s Club and decided that he should stab them because they were trying to infect people with the coronavirus. I was getting pissed at the ignorant douchebags who were spitting on Asians just because they’re Chinese ipso facto, they have COVID 19. The nut job who decided to commit murder though is a new level of sick.

I need to stop having the news on all day. It’s eating into way too much of my work time.

I’m going to show off my burnt cheesecake which I made tonight. Er… I mean my Basque Cheesecake. I learned how from the delightful Chef John at foodwishes.com

He really is one of my favorite chefs to learn from, and so many of his recipes have made it into my meal rotation.

I’ve also got a short update about playing Ring Fit Adventure. I’ve completed the main story line! I’m still playing it though. They have extra worlds so you can continue to exercise with your high level avatar. Also the game told me I could try change the audio dialogue to another language. So now my sentient ring is speaking in Japanese. I think it’d be awesome if it was screaming and spitting and stuff like in that old movie, Gung Ho. I’m having trouble understanding it though because the dialogue is primarily about body movements and body parts which I didn’t study much of during my Japanese language classes in college. I hope to expand that by working out more.

I’m also playing an awesome game called “Good Job!” You’re the son of the owner of a company. You start on the literal ground level and have a simple task to accomplish in each room until you’re promoted to the next floor. The hilarious part is all the inadvertent (or just plain deliberate) destruction you can’t help but cause. The SO enjoys watching me play and will often berate me for doing something dumb.

I’ve also moved on to Nioh. It’s a hack and slash set in feudal Japan. Samurai, ninjas, and shit. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a crap player, but I die all the freaking time. It took me a couple of days to realize that I should kill a bunch of enemies then head back to the small shrines and use the drops from the enemies to level my stats up. As a result, I am now making more progress.

I’m getting closer to the end of the second book. It’s writing itself. Well, it is whenever I can keep my butt in my chair. Maybe sometime this weekend?

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Fatter at Home

Here in California, we’ve been ordered to not go out unless you need groceries or go for a walk. And when you walk, you have to avoid people. Try to pretend you’re in a hamster wheel, basically. It’s going to be a huge lifestyle change for a whole lot of people.

I’ve been performing this civic duty. Just before the order hit, I came down with hay fever. Yeah, yeah, I know. It might be COVID 19. I’ve been treating it as if it has been. But I have this allergy party every year (except for last year, which I credit to nasal spray) and the symptoms are all too familiar. Itchy eyes? Yup. Soul crushing full body coughing in the morning? Unfortunately, yes. I wonder what my neighbors think. Weird, pale yellow phlegm? Check. Aches? Yeah, a little. Fever? Nope. Not even a little. And believe me, I’ve been checking. We got a thermometer recently. It looks kind of like a type 2 phaser from Star Trek: TNG. I’ve been phasering myself right between my eyebrows everyday, three times a day.

The good news is, I’m past the nasty ass cough. Feeling pretty much back to normal. Maybe self-quarantining is making my recovery faster since I’m not walking to the market, going to practice, or even spending any time outside.

But I’ve been thinking that my lifestyle hasn’t really changed much. I’m a work at coffee shop author that’s become a work at home author. Ever since I left the video games industry I’ve tried my damnedest to keep costs low. Also, I’m fat. So one of the obvious places to save money and cut calories is eating out. For years now I’ve been improving my culinary abilities, and I think I’m better. I certainly don’t think I’d qualify to go on Worst Cooks in America. (It’s a fun show, BTW.) Point being, when safer at home started, I was already doing most of what I need to do at home. Cooking and eating, exercise (thanks Nintendo), and now trying to work in my distracting home environment.

So backtrack to a few days ago. I’m coughing, my body aches, I’m trying unsuccessfully to get work done, and the news is on all day. I caught myself eating stuff for no reason than it was something to do. Yikes. I wonder how many other people might be lazing around their house with their thirty bags of cheesy puffs, a freezer full of frozen pizza, and enough canned goods to be an excellent house in a month for zombie apocalypse survivors to raid, might be absentmindedly stuffing their faces to keep busy?

If we stay inside for a month, living the fallout shelter life, are we going to put on like fifteen pounds?

Don’t let yourselves go people. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Stay safe and take care of each other.

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It Sure Feels Like the Apocalypse

Hoarding.

Large events cancelled.

Movie theaters closed.

You can only get takeout or delivery at restaurants.

Schools closed.

Borders closing.

It may not be the end of the world, but it sure feels like it.

If you’ve read my book, you know I have more than a passing interest in the end of civilization. I couldn’t have imagined the toilet paper/hand soap/cleaning wipes thing. It’s still hard to believe.

I also think if people don’t keep themselves occupied it’s easy to work yourself up into a frenzy. Dire warnings from Italy telling you to take this seriously.

I have to remind myself that control seems to be returning in Wuhan. Macau was able to lock everything down quick. I believe we will weather this, despite how scary things are right now.

Enough of that. You get plenty of that on the news and probably in your social media feeds. Use common sense.

The first draft of the second book is 95% complete. I’m sorry I didn’t get it out in time for this period of recommended self-quarantine, but I’m still surprised that I got that much done. It took me several years to write the first one. Though I had to stop for a while because I was dragged back into my old industry. The way it’s going, the second book will be about as long as the first book, yet it took a fraction of the time to do it. That said, it’s probably still going to be months to get it to a state where I will be able to send it into the world. In the back of my mind I’m already thinking about where it’s lacking and some ideas I have to improve the draft.

It’s a little tough working from home, but the work is progressing. It was nice being able to go outside where I can have “office hours” at my local Starbucks or Coffee Bean. Walking was a nice side effect as well. Oh well, give it some time. I’ll try not to get distracted here at home.

In other news, I’ve finally finished the main story of Ni no Kuni 2. It really is a good game. I’m still playing it to get all the higglies, finish all the research, and max out my citizens. That’s when I found the free adventure pack DLC. So now, I’m doing the new quest chain. Also, I’m doing the new research to make it easier to farm mats from the Faraway Dreamers Door so I can make dem higglies. Maybe in a week I’ll be moving on to the next PS4 title on my list. Still thinking about what that’s going to be.

For Xmas, I got a new Kindle reader. It came with three months of Kindle Unlimited so I’ve been casting about looking for stuff to read. The best thing I found was the Yarnsworld series by Benedict Patrick. It’s a fun mix of fantasy and folktales. I’m reading the fourth one now which is kind of a continuation of the first book. The second and third are standalone, though the people in all four books all have a special “knack” for doing something. This can range from sword fighting to washing laundry. Anyway, if you’ve read my book and need something else, give Yarnsworld a try!

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I’ve Been Playing Ring Fit Adventure

The year is almost over. I think it’s been a turbulent one. Work on the next story continues and I think I’m ready to delve into writing the final act. That said, on to the topic I wanted to talk about.

So I’ve always been a big fan of video games that also make you exercise. The first one I remember playing was an exercise bike arcade game that made you fly around and pop balloons as the timer ran down. Google says it’s called Prop Cycle. As that damn timer ticked down, I was pedaling like crazy trying to pop just one more balloon so I could extend the timer. Unfortunately, after two or three plays I was done for the day. Nothing like seating through my street clothes and then running around like that for the rest of the day.

The next one I enjoyed would be Dance Central which utilized the Kinect. I played a lot of that game too, but my living room is tiny and often times the game would complain that I was too damn close and it was hard to map my body. Nevertheless, I logged many hours flailing around like an idiot.

I even worked on an exercise game. UFC Trainer. As a game developer, it was a fascinating experience to figure out how to make the Wii/PS3/360 determine if you were performing a particular exercise correctly. Ultimately though, after it was done I didn’t play it at all. It was just too much like a gym and I’m not into UFC, so it couldn’t hold my attention.

Now a little bit of background about me. I used to be a gym rat. During lunches at work I walked over to the gym down the street and did a half hour of cardio, weight training, and stretching. I’m no stranger to exercise and even when I stopped working at the game studio near the gym and let my membership run out, I would do exercise videos at home.

Which brings us to Ring Fit. I’m sucker for stuff like this. Ring Fit comes with a ring with two grips on the sides and a slot at the top to slide your Switch controller into. The thing has been pretty durable so far! It also gives you a lap strap to wrap around your left thigh. You put the other controller into this strap and between the two controllers, they can figure out what exercises you’re doing.

So, as of yesterday, I’m into the 37th day of Ring Fit Adventure. My sessions can last from 30 minutes to an hour. There’s a clock in the bottom left of the screen that tells you how long you’ve been moving around, and that’s different from the time that’s spent just standing in front of your Switch. You’ll be spending some time reading the dialogue from the characters, taking your pulse, buying new gear, and moving around the map. So I’d say that when the game says I’ve been moving around, exercising for 30 minutes, I’ve actually spent 40-50 minutes playing the game.

I’ve been enjoying it so far. On the game side of things it’s a light RPG. You meet a magic ring and you have to help it get it’s powers back so you can fight an evil dragon/workout fiend. Your stats are offense, defense, and health. You can augment these stats by purchasing better shirts, pants, and shoes. Sometimes, getting a matching set of clothes will provide an additional set bonus.

There’s also a skill tree. At some point you will start gaining a skill point every time you level up. You can then take these skill points and apply them to a skill tree which can give you different exercise moves, add to your offense or defense, increase your health bar, and give your attacks and defensive moves chances to proc additional benefits. The tree starts off small, but as I’ve leveled up I’ve seen the tree expand twice so far.

So the game hub is kind of like one of the old Mario games. 3 maybe? You start at World 1 and you’re looking at a 2D map with points of interest connected by lines. Generally, you go to a point of interest and play it which will open up the next area. At the end of each map you’ll fight a boss. Last night I cleared World 14, so there’s a hearty amount of content.

The main type of level in the game is a course. You’ll start at one end of a 3D environment and have to run to the other end. Along the way you’ll have to fight monsters, performing very light platforming challenges, suck up coins and mats for smoothies. To equate the exercise part of it to the real world, it’s like running through a park that has a fitness trail with some simple exercise equipment. That’s an oversimplification though. The environments can range from outdoorsy areas where you’re paddling on a river or flying in the sky, to more industrial feeling indoor spaces.

You’ll start running (in place) and you can run faster if you move your legs more. You know, like in real life? You won’t have to do much in the way of navigating though, because you’re on what we call a “rail”. Not a literal one. Though, sometimes in the game you are. The idea though is that the game itself keeps you on the path. Your running in place is what’s propelling you forward. At points along the path you might run into monsters. When this happens you’ll go into a turn based fight mode. The monsters which look like ghosts when you’re running in the world will manifest into things like goblin looking things, or monsterized yoga mats, balance balls, kettle bells, and so on.

Once you’re in a fight, you’ll go first. You select an exercise you’d like to do and then pick which monster you’d like to hit. Each rep will cause damage, and if you perform the exercise well, it’ll hit for a little more. You can tell when you’re doing it to the game’s satisfaction because your characters hair will look all golden. After you finish the set, the monsters will get there turn and they may or may not attack you. This cycle repeats until either you run out of health or you beat up the monsters. (Which fly way off into the distance, screaming, when they’re out of health.)

There are four types of exercise, and this theme is reinforced later in the game. Red exercises are strength training exercises for your arms, blue are strength training exercises for your legs, yellow exercises focus on your abs, and green exercises focus on your balance, having strong yoga flavor. Monsters can come in all four of the aforementioned colors and you’ll do extra damage versus a monster sharing the color of the exercise your using. (I.e. doing ab exercises against yellow monster will give you an edge.)

Also important to note, is that your some of your exercises can hit multiple enemies. You can encounter up to 5 enemies at one time. Certain exercises will allow you to hit all 5 with each rep performed. These exercises generally don’t do as much damage as some of the single target exercises. There are also exercises that will hit 3 adjacent enemies but will do a little more damage per rep than the ones that can hit all 5. When you consider that enemies are weak versus certain exercises types, there’s actually some strategy to selecting which exercise to do on your turn to get the best effect. And as you level up, you’ll be rotating in better exercises that do more damage, so what you’re doing from session to session will gradually change.

I found that my strategy in general would be to use my highest damage AoE exercise against large groups of enemies, favoring colors whenever I could, and then use my highest damage single target exercise to finish them off. When yoga mat monsters started to show up, I was super annoyed to discover that they could heal themselves or the other monsters, so I would tend to try to get rid of them as quickly as I could. I managed to unlock a blue exercise through the skill tree, and it was a type of squat that did 295 damage. That lasted me a long time until ultimately I started getting more powerful moves, but man did I get a ton of mileage out of that exercise. I did a whole bunch of squats too.

One of my concerns when I first played the game was seeing some of the exercises get swapped out as I got new ones. I just removed squat from my list of skills and I was actually asking if that meant that squat was gone from the game now. Well, I needn’t have worried. As you progress into the later worlds, during the courses these exercises are mixed in outside of combat as part of the challenges when running through the course. For example, your character might arrive at a series of personal catapults and you’ll have to perform a squat on top of it to make it launch you to the next one. I enjoyed the variety of exercises I was doing on a lot of the worlds in later courses. And if somehow you love squats, don’t worry. The same exercises come back with level 2 and 3 versions that have higher damage than the one you started with.

If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m enjoying the experience so far. I’m 15 worlds in and there’s no end in sight. There’s a lot of content and for me that translates to motivation. The combat system is simple but I do feel like I’m making choices that maximize damage. It’s even making me reach for those exercises that I don’t enjoy (screw you, mountain climbers!)

My biggest gripe is the damn leg strap. It just keeps sliding down to under my knee and I’m having to always slide back up into position. It can be super annoying when you’re running up steps in the game and your Ring will tell you that if you bring your knees up you’ll go up the stairs faster. So there I am, doing a bunch of high knees and my leg strap as slid down and my character on screen is now going slow. Yeah, it’s frustrating.

My biggest pet peeve is with a mini game mode called Dreadmill. Wow, perfect name. You’re on a treadmill at the bottom of the screen pushing you to the left. You have to run to control your characters speed. There are four lanes across the screen that will either have coins or bombs. So the idea is that you want to run in a way to keep you in the lanes with coins and out of the ones with bombs. Sounds easy, right? Not so fast. I’m having serious problems finding a pace to keep me smack in one of the lanes. Either I’m too slow, or too fast. So now I’m taking weird shuffle steps to try to convince the game to speed me up or slow down. They also have this optional mission in one of the worlds where you can’t miss a coin. Yeah, I’m still trying to finish that one.

Also kind of disappointing is the gear you get as rewards when you’re playing through the game. Actually, I was excited when I got a shirt that promised a nice set bonus if I could get the other two pieces. But sometimes, you have to finish certain missions that aren’t immediately available and you have to go back to the world later. By the time I’d found the rest of the set, I already had better gear.

The game has it’s minor flaws, but what game doesn’t? My experience has been and continues to be overwhelmingly positive. I do feel like I get a light workout, and the act of navigating the map, reading dialogue, gives you brief breaks before tackling the next course. I only raised the difficulty up once and that was a macho fueled decision on my second session when the game asked how it was going.

If you’re looking for a fun way to move around more, I think Ring Fit Adventure is well worth the investment. On a final note, at the end of each course it makes you do this victory pose where you squat and hold for a few seconds and then thrust your ring up above your head. Yeah, I enjoy that a little too much.

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My Hobbies Have Dominated My Life For the Last Few Weeks

Yeah, I’m still here.

I know. I haven’t updated in forever. But I have reasons.

I have this thing that I’ve been doing since college. It’d be my profession if I could actually earning a living from it. But since I can’t, I write books. Anyway, this hobby has kicked into overdrive over the last few weeks.

I went to Japan to be with all of the other people that do what I do, and was fortunate enough to be able to go with some of the people at my local branch that decided to go, including a very good friend of mine whom I’ve been trying to get to accompany me for years now. It was a very busy and exhausting, but it ended up being a great time for everyone. Definitely one for the books.

Then I came back and began the super annoying process of re-acclimating my body to my original time zone. Ever been super tired, go to sleep then wake up four hours later anyway? Yeah. It’s as fun as it sounds. Even better is getting obnoxiously sleepy right in the middle of the afternoon. The only thing for it is lots of water and napping. I really don’t get the people who just force themselves back on schedule. I have to say… that shit don’t work for me.

Oh, but it gets better. I was also the primary organizer for an anniversary party celebrating a quarter century of our branch’s continued participation in the aforementioned hobby. I had help of course, but I was the one who provided the vision. Last night, this vision came to be realized. And it didn’t. Things never seem to go as I imagine they will. But all of the primary components were there, just not in the order I had thought them to be. I kept it loose, listened to my teacher who gave excellent on the fly advice, and everything turned out a-ok. I’m fortunate to have colleagues with low standards.

I’m very glad that’s done and over with.

Or I’d like to say that, but it’s not quite over. There’s still some of the aftermath to deal with, but today I’m just going to relax a bit.

Work on the sequel to Buried Instincts has slowed to a crawl unfortunately. I’ve managed to sneak in an hour of writing here and there. Jet lag’s a bitch and so is putting on hooplah. I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow when I expect to just be able to get some coffee and immerse myself into Blake’s post-apocalyptic adventure again.

There’s good things coming!

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A Little Slice of Armageddon

Yeah, I know. It’s been a while since I last posted anything. I’ve actually been very productive on the sequel to Buried Instincts, so I’ve been putting off doing things like updating my website. Or exercising.

But without further ado, here’s a little news that might be interesting.

So last Saturday night I’m up late because I’m always up late. It’s around 2am and I’m playing video games when I hear a bunch of partiers in the street. Well, it is LA after all. I don’t even get up to look. I’m not so old yet that I go out in my long johns and angrily shake my fist at them. Also, I don’t have long johns. I’m too fat to wear them without sweating. I’m not even sure why I brought it up.

They eventually leave, and relative peace returns. An hour later I go down to do dishes. Yeah, I know. At 3am? But something is off. As I’m washing the dishes, I notice the water pressure is way weaker than it should be. In my brain, somehow I think it’s connected to the partiers from before. I look out the window. Hmmm, that’s weird. Is it raining? Well, I’m sure it’s not raining, I would’ve heard it. SO WHY IS THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE STREET COVERED WITH WATER?!

Of course, I put on proper disaster gear. Basketball shorts and a t-shirt thus donned, I run out into the street. The street has cracked and water is bubbling out of the damaged sections!

This was taken a little after 3:20am. Yeah, I know I’m a suck photographer. But notice the crazy looking hole!

By now, other people are also starting to notice what’s going on. Especially the people who live on the opposite side of the street. At this point, I decide to call the LADWP. I saw on their website that they will talk to you 24/7 if there’s an emergency.

I decide this constitutes an emergency. I navigate through their automated system. I get a person. I tell him water’s coming up out of the god damn street. I give him the address. I give him my name. He promises to send someone out.

Go me. I could’ve just decided this was bullshit and gone to bed.

I decide that I’d better take a shower before they shut the water off. I barely manage to do so because I had to coax water into the shower head because the pressure sucks. I get myself into a state where I’m 95% less oily, pat myself on the back, then head back out.

My more astute neighbors are rallying people. A lot of them are moving their cars out of their parking to someplace more dry. Several drive over the hole in the street where water is coming out. It sounds crunchy and I question their common sense.

The fire department shows up. They walk around. The water continues. Well, I guess calling 911 is a good initial reaction. I’m not sure they were able to do anything. They eventually leave.

It’s after 4am now. I’ve been running in and out of my place giving updates to Maggie. This is the most exciting thing that’s happened in a while. A horde of people is now across the street watching their parking get more and more flooded. A few brave souls armor their legs in trash bags and wade out to their vehicles to move them. Finally the LADWP shows up to work their magic. The water is now off and isn’t coming out of the street anymore. Shows over for me. It’s 5am. Bed time.

I wake up and head outside to see what’s transpired since the sun came up. Well, since that time and add about 4 hours.

The street is filthy. But it’s mostly dry.
Ho, man… I hope that car is ok…

They blocked the street. That’s good. They’re fixing the pipe. Also good. And they’ve got a truck to pump all the water out of the flooded parking. Water’s still off. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I was, however, surprised when I came back from running errands in the afternoon to discover the water was already back on. Unexpected! I thought for sure I’d have to drive to a gym to shower.

A day later it looks like this:

Good as new! Ok, maybe not new, but our street now has cool battle damage! Like when Khan shot up the Enterprise and Scotty welded steel plates over the holes.

I have to say, for as much water that came out of the road, I was pretty impressed that it only took a full day to resolve this.

I still don’t know if the partiers I heard somehow caused this to happen. Maybe they were Fremen who plunked down a thumper to try to call a sandworm. But instead of a Shai-Hulud working for Uber showing up to take them home, they screwed up the water system. Dicks. And if I learned anything, it’s that when you’re looking for someplace to live, you should consider where the water is going to flow if the earth cracks and the waters come.

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