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Since famous people die in threes...

...and if you're wondering who is going to complete the Thurmond-Hepburn trifecta, know that keeps round the clock status on our friend Fish.

BTW, he's still alive.

Update: Dammit, it's Buddy Hackett.

Happy 4th

No, I'm not being premature. The fourth anniversary issue of The Write Stuff was sent out this morning. Good issue, featuring an interview with Catholic author William Ferguson and a humor column by Tim Bete. Hopefully by the fifth anniversary I'll have figured out the word wrap thing on Yahoo Groups.

Participation Positives


Now that summer has finally arrived in the Chesapeake Bay, my car's AC has decided to no longer work correctly. I drove home Saturday to a puddle on the passenger side mat. Though we can't afford it, we're going to have to get a new car. Malc doesn't mind, because he loves car shopping. Me, I'd rather be locked in Circuit City surrounded by televisions airing that same stupid Christina Aguilera video over and over and over...

On the upside, we're completely out of the old apartment. Malc turns in the keys today. Now comes the arduous task of rearranging the future and unpacking boxes. By the time we're done, we'll be ready to move again. I hate moving.

Also, a manuscript for a children's coloring book on Blessed Miguel Pro goes out today. Prayers!

In Barney We Trust

I imagine the New River Gorge design will make the cut, though.

Pro-Life Mensch, where are you, guy?

A lesson to be learned...

from the battle over Bonds's baseball (dig the alliteration): something is really only worth what somebody else is willing to pay for it.

I have a case full of Star Wars and Star Trek action figures. Don't throw them out, I'm told. They'll be worth something one day. Bull. I've tried eBay with the Trek figurines and haven't even been offered what I originally paid. The Chekov figure from Generations which I own was last appraised at fifty bucks. Is it really worth fifty bucks if nobody wants to buy it? Who is going to want to fork over that much for a character who wasn't in the movie twenty minutes? Meanwhile, I have to lug these things all over creation every time I move.

Ha-lo, Haloscan!

I'm fed up with YACCS, so I'm trying a new commenting system. Let the flaming begin anew!

Yesterday, while unpacking the house, I had the television tuned to FOX. In the space of 30 minutes, I watched "American Juniors" (a reality show) and saw ads for "Boarding House" (a reality show featuring horny coeds in bikinis crawling over each other), "Hotel Paradise" (a reality show featuring horny twentysomethings in bikinis crawling over each other), "Anything for Love" (a reality show featuring paranoid women setting up their horny boyfriends, no bikinis), and "Banzai" (a reality show some kind of Asian anti-defamation group should investigate; no bikinis, but they had Lou Ferrigno).

I switched to ABC to watch Drew Carey and saw an ad for "The Dating Experiment" (I guess those people are horny, too, I don't know). After a late supper (Malc works late on Wednesdays), we watched a "Frasier" rerun which was followed by "Elimidate" (a reality show that sometimes spirals into softcore pr0n). We didn't last five minutes watching it.

My question: did I just waste twenty bucks registering a script with the WGA?

The right to choose...a license plate

Kerry Dougherty of the Pilot had an interesting piece on the ACLU and Virginia's Choose Life plates. Here in Virginia there must be 6,000 different plates available for your car, with about 6,000 more under consideration. It's a touchy subject here; recently Parrothead clubs and the KKK have tried to get vanity plates established, yet the ACLU is going nuts over the Choose Life one.

I agree with Kerry toward the end of her column. Just offer one plate, one style. You want fancy, paste glitter stickers on it.

There's fast food, and then there's unemployment

George Costanza loses yet another job; KFC kicked his bucket after the pitchman met with PETA reps. While I don't agree with everything PETA says/does, I have to admire Alexander. He could easily have continued taking in a paycheck, but he decided instead to try to correct something he believed was wrong, in this case KFC's treatment of chickens.

If only we could get a few celebs to feel the same way about the unborn...then we'd be cooking.

You write one lousy fanfiction...

...and people assume you're an authority. I'm talking about a Quantum Leap story I had written many, many years ago. The links are to your right, and before you e-mail me with a list of inaccuracies let me say that yes, I'm aware of them all. Most of those stories didn't get past a first draft. All were written in fun. I do realize BJ Hunnicutt didn't have a mustache during his first year on MASH, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, I recall not long after I posted some of those stories people would e-mail me out of the blue asking me questions about Quantum Leap, as if I was in some way associated with the show (I'm not). The most FAQ I got was about the mythical QL movie. "I heard there was going to be a movie," "When's the movie coming out?" yada yada yada. Well, you people can leave me alone, 'cause I got your Quantum Leap movie right here.

Not only that, but the show is finally coming to DVD, which means I can finally throw away all those tapes I made and stored in my closet.

Why Britney Spears won't be attending Liberty

Liberty University has a dress code. I may not agree with Mistah Falwell on everything, but it's nice to see the school has placed some importance in dress. I have to wonder, though, if the dress code will prohibit the St. Blog's Parish thongs I plan to sell via

...and the flames in the comment box begin in 3...2...

Fame, we're gonna live forever

Or at least until the links expire.

The Virginian-Pilot finally published their article on our local Bookcrossing crew. Part One and Part Two are now available for your viewing pleasure, but on my computer the print box pops up, so be careful.

Also, check out the second link, which mentions Kathryn the mystery author. That's moi! Also, if you join Bookcrossing and need to mention a referral, tell them livelywriter sent you.

Participation Positives

Well, everything but the sofas and television are moved into the new place. We'll be hiring out to get those moved; they are much too big for the two of us. Besides, I need to reserve my energy for cleaning up the old place, which is overrun by dust rhinos.

My baby nephew has pinkeye and an ear infection. Please pray for him and his parents. My brother says he and his wife have pinkeye, too. I've never had it, so I don't know how bad it gets.

Reading Harry Potter V; it drags through the first 200 or so pages; I'm about halfway through and it's finally starting to get interesting. I'm about a third of the way through East of Eden, too. One of the ladies at work is starting a book club (presumably based upon Oprah's new picks), so I need to finish it before July 9. This is in addition to the 20-plus books sent to me for review.

I'm also writing two articles on books: one for about good summer reading and one on Catholic mysteries which will hopefully be accepted by Mystery Readers Journal. Plus, a million other things that were due yesterday. Such is life.

Hey, Boston Bloggers!

The Boston Globe recently ran a letter to the editor from my former professor/current collaborator Bob Stanton, which appeared on June 15. I'd like to read it, but the online paper is a paid subscription (feh). Has anybody seen the editorial titled "BUSH, LIKE BLAIR, SHOULD FACE HIS CRITICS ON TV"?

Can irony be defined... being the universal blood donor and having very tiny veins, thereby making it difficult for the blood to be extracted? I won't tell you what happened at the Bloodmobile today, but I'm wondering what I can do to "pump" myself up so these nice Red Cross volunteers don't have to play treasure hunt anymore.

Hearty greetings... those who found me using the phrases "kat sex buffalo" and "judas fan fiction." I have no idea what to make of this, but that there's at least one person out there looking for some action in Buffalo, or with a buffalo, or maybe he's thinking of pulling a "South Park" and trying to breed a cat and a buffalo (and he can't spell). "Judas fan fiction" baffles me, unless there was a character named Judas on Buffy.

Checking the paper this morning, I see that JK Rowling is suing the New York Daily News for publishing Harry Potter spoilers. I just want the Daily News (and any other NY paper) to know that they are welcome to publish excerpts of Saints at any time. Just spell my first name correctly ("ry", not "yr") and point people to my home page.

Lisa, can you say "David Hasselhoff"?

I can, he was at the Dead/Steve Winwood concert last night. Funny, never thought I would ever hear "David Hasselhoff" and "Grateful Dead" in the same sentence, but he was there all the same. He signed my ticket. Looked more like he did on Knight Rider than Baywatch, with the all-black attire going, and he's so tall! A while back I had created a photo of him with my book for a celebrity endorsement spoof that never got off the ground (remember that Frank Gifford photo?). Here it is:

Winwood was fantastic. Much of his set was comprised of old Traffic tunes with him behind the organ, which Malc (a former church organist) immediately recognized as a Hammond. He would come out later with the Dead for at least one song. We didn't stay for the entire Dead show, about six songs; neither Malc nor I are what you would consider Deadheads, but I thought Joan Osborne did a good job singing lead. Everybody else there seemed to be having a good time, signing along to all the lyrics.

I had come straight from work because the show started at five, so I was pretty much overdressed for the occasion. We couldn't figure out why the show was so early until an employee at the amphitheatre advised us that the Dead would be playing two full sets with a 45-minute intermission, which left me wondering what all those tie-dye shirt-clad people were going to do in the interim. You can only play hacky sack in the lawn section for so long before you get bored, and I would assume those who brought marijuana (yeah, you could smell it) would want to pace themselves.

Anyway, keep an eye out if Winwood tours solo, because I'd love to see him live again. Just don't tell us he did "Arc of a Diver" after we left. That would just kill Malc.

Too bad, I would have liked to have heard "Mr. Blind Bathroom Towel Giver Outer"

Smitty's collection of Bud Light Real American Heroes/Real Men of Genius commercials. Malc heard a new one today: Mr. Fancy Coffee Shop Coffee Pourer. Almost wrecked the car.

Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys

Steve Winwood concert tonight!

Monday Mission

1. How do you respond to hateful mail and comments? Depends. Most I ignore, particularly if they come from strangers. Once in a while, though, something out of left field comes to mind and I respond with a pithy remark of my own.

2. I often think twice about taking a stand on things, because I get this nagging fear I will loose some of my readers or become a target of those who disagree. But I usually ignore it and post on it anyway. What sort of topics have you taken a stand on in your writings? Did it get the reaction you expected? What subjects have you avoided? Why? Anybody who reads this knows my stance on abortion, and I can't be afraid to express it since there's a book about it with my name on the cover. Most of the reaction to that has been supportive. I do shy away from other topics, like the Church scandals, because there are so many other Catholic bloggers who are better at debate and analysis than I am.

3. What are some of the reasons that you stopped reading someone's blog? Do you tell them you've stopped reading? Wouldn't you like to know why someone quit reading yours? Or do you care? If I have stopped, it's mainly time constraints. So far, I haven't been offended by one blog enough to stop reading it. As for people no longer reading my blog, I hope it's not because I've gotten boring.

4. Do you like to tweak and tinker with your website and blog? Or would you rather have a simple solution so you can concentrate on other things? I like to tweak. I'm a tweaker. I'd like to be able to host this somewhere and do some really neat PHP stuff.

5. Would you take a ride into outer space if given the chance? Nah.

6. Are there any songs, that when you hear them, make you just want to get up and start dancing? Oh, anything by WAR and Parliament.

7. Speaking of music, I read a humor article recently where the author said he can't stand it when people give him "Mix CDs." (In case you don't know, Mix CDs are audio CD compilations that folks make of music on their PCs and give to you for your listening pleasure) He said it reminded him too much of teenagers who made love song "mix tapes" in high school. Have you ever made a "Mix" CD or tape for someone special? What was on it? Did they like it? Are you sure? Has someone made a "mix" just for you? Did you like it? Which one comes to mind? What made it so memorable? What songs were on it? Once this guy who claimed to love me decided, since I wouldn't put out, that he'd dump me and make a play for my best friend. I made this tape of songs like "Liar Liar" and "96 Tears" and "You Give Love a Bad Name." He and my friend had a good laugh over it. The bastard.

An ex-boyfriend made me a mix tape in an attempt to get back together with me. They were songs that he said reminded him of us when we were together. I don't recall all the titles, but there was some Gene Loves Jezebel in there (his favorite group), and "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie. It was a good mix.

BONUS: Where does my hope come from? Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Get ready for the Big O

First, get your mind out of the gutter. I'm not talking about that!

Oprah is bringing back the Book Club, so says a friend on Bookcrossing. This has brought swell to many an author's heart, because Oprah = Sales. I would know. I worked at B&N when In the Kitchen with Rosie was released. We had a waiting list of 200 people for that damn book. You couldn't find a copy for sale anywhere in Jacksonville for weeks, and people would call and scream at us on the phone because they thought we were holding back. Indeed, those of us who had hoarded the book to purchase ourselves had to deliver, but it was worth the wait to get the book for 60% off.

Problem with Oprah is that she doesn't consider genre books, so I won't bother sending Saints. Maybe next time.

Participation Positives

A good weekend, despite the ever-present rain. We might be able to sell some of our furniture rather than move it, and in the new place the kitchen is completely unpacked.

I managed ten miles on the bike, the longest I've ridden in a while. I'd like to get back up to thirty per trip before we go to the mountains. The owner of the bike shop Malc frequents wants to start a women's team to companion the men, so I might have to log some time on the road bike as well. I'm just not used to riding it.

I've been sending books all over the place, too. Three copies of Saints to the 2003 Royal Palm Awards, sponsored by the Florida Writers Association, three to the Agatha Awards committee, and a copy to the newly minted Gary Awards, sponsored by a producer of audio books. I'd like to submit to the Edgar Awards as well (the Pulitzer of the mystery awards), but that competition is a bit stiffer. Plus, they want FIVE copies. I need to save my money for sending copies to bookstores. I also bit the bullet and sent an entry to ABC for their annual fellowship program. That's a long shot, but even a long shot has a chance at making the basket. Happy thoughts!

Then Racer X removed his helmet to reveal...

Sorry to disappoint Mr. Cork and Mr. Phipps, but I am not Nihil Obstat, nor do I play Nihil Obstat on TV.

I guess we'll never really know...(insert chords of incidental music)

Ben Stone for the defense

A long, long time ago, I hosted a mailing list for fans of the actor Michael Moriarty, who played ADA Ben Stone on Law and Order when it debuted back in the 70s. While he is a good actor, his political views have been known to raise a few eyebrows. has posted this interview with Michael, in which he exposes some of these views and announces his intentions to run for President in 2008. Interesting reading, if anything.

It's Friday the 13th, all right...

My car was towed. In our new complex, parking stickers are required, only the condo board has been lax in getting ours to us. They were told to expect our cars on the lot regardless, and we were told they were fine with it, and they had us towed anyway. Somebody is going to be out of luck today.

UPDATE: We got the car back, but I don't who ended up paying the fine. The man from whom we are renting the condo is ticked with a capital T, which rhymes with P, which stands for Parking Stickers, which we still don't have. Malc came by work to return my keys with this goofy smile on his face, telling me how I should have seen the look on our landlord's face this morning. I think it's going to get very ugly before it gets better.

Atticus has left the building

Rest in peace, Mr. Peck.

The official Tintin site. Somebody at had reminded me of these comic novellas, which I used to check out from the Webb Library in Jacksonville when I was younger. My favorites were Thompson and Thompson (I'd heard this was where the group The Thompson Twins got their name); it seemed they were always stuck with the grunt work on Tintin's adventures.

I'd love to find some of these books again. I don't think I've seen any in twenty years. I had thought them long ago out of print.

Hey, all you homeschoolers!

Catholic Home Educator needs contributors. If you homeschool and have a flair for writing, check out NACHE and see if it's right for you. CHE needs resource reviews, features, etc.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Bishop Sullivan of the Richmond Diocese prepares to retire, and I have no idea whom to expect as his replacement. I must admit, though, that in the few years I have been here I haven't kept tabs on the doings of Sullivan, and his retirement has spurred me to be more vigilant of his successor. I will say this, however: once I had written to the diocese about a particular church in my area that had a "pastoral assistant" (whatever that is), a woman, deliver the homily during Mass. Now, I could have sworn that only a priest or a deacon can give the homily. The bishop's office promised to send some sort of pamphlet explaining that the woman's homily was okay (even though it had nothing to do with the Gospel or, for that matter, Jesus). Never got it. We stopped going to that church, and later on I noticed the woman's name removed from the church's sign. So who knows what happened there.

Now that we are moving yet again, we are contemplating switching parishes. We don't exactly have a "home" parish just yet, though we have limited our activities to two churches, because with Malc there always seems to be something wrong with every parish we have attended. That is, with the exception of St. Bede's in Williamsburg, which I enjoyed attending (too far to drive now). I won't go into Malc's anal retentiveness here, but since this is going to be the last move for a while I'm hoping to find a place where we can register and actually show up on a regular basis. Please pray for us.

The line for the monorail starts here

The SICLE Cell reports that Disney has ceased its support of Planned Parenthood. Be sure to drop Mickey a line and thank him for this decidedly pro-life move. After all, a child in the womb who doesn't get to be born doesn't get to go Disney World.

Smells like...

VH1 can't stop making lists. Now we have the Top 100 Songs of the Past Twenty-Five Years, which looks to me like they just picked names out of a hat. "Like a Virgin" in the top ten over Pink Floyd, come on! What if EWTN started doing stuff like this. The Top 100 Saints of the Last Millennium, the Top 100 Papal Encyclicals...all with glitzy special effects and hosted by Gloria Estefan.

For the unpublished masses

Romance writers, that is.


Sponsor: Charter Oak Romance Writers (RWA)

Fee: $25. Deadline: Sept. 1, 2003.

Enter: First 25 pages of manuscript and unjudged synopsis (up to five pages).

Five finalists in each category will win lovely certificates. Top prize in each category: The Oak Leaf Award.

This is it for today.

Lots of work, plus I'm sending several manuscripts out to contests, etc. Will resume tomorrow.

So will she make the AFI's Top Heroes or Villains list?

Biopic on Hillary Clinton planned, with Sharon Stone in talks for the lead. Must. Resist. Making. Bad. Basic. Instinct. Joke.

Monday Mission!

1. In my work Outlook inbox, I have 343 unread email messages. Most of them are newsletters I've subscribed to but not had time to read. It is a bit intimidating at this point, and I am tempted to delete them all and start fresh. Have you ever just totally trashed something you were working on because it wasn't going the way you wanted? What happened? Did you start over again? Was it better? An earlier draft of Murder Most Trivial was trashed because the former storyline, I later learned, was too similar to a book already published. I literally rewrote the book, and I am quite happy with the end result, however.

2. Have you ever contacted an old friend out of the blue over the Internet? How did it go? Have any old friends or lovers ever contacted you? Did it flatter you or freak you out? I tried to contact a high school friend but the mail bounced. I've not been contacted out of the blue myself, but it would be nice to hear from a few people. Being married now probably makes the search tougher, though.

What is the most important thing that you have ever forgotten? Did it have any negative results? How did it all turn out? I forget things all the time, but the big one was a huge chunk of a poem I had to memorize for English. Nearly flunked that year.

Which of the "reality" television programs do you think you would have a chance at winning? Why? Would you ever actually consider signing up for one? Have you? I haven't watched any of the programs, so I'm not quite sure what they are all about. If "Iron Chef" counts, I bet I could do well on that one, so long as I didn't go up against Sakai.

5. Do you allow commenting on your blog? Why? I like to hear what other people have to say, and I've only used the delete button one time.

6. Have you found any cool shareware/freeware applications/scripts/tools recently? Yeah? Tell me more! No, not today.

7. I've mentioned it here before, but one of my favorite terms I've heard a minister use was when he referred to a "pet sin." Which is when you live your life right for the most part, but you have this one secret thing, this one bad thing that you do that is wrong for you to do, that you won't give up, even though you know you should (and sometime criticize others for doing). Now I am not asking to know what it is, but do you have a "pet sin?" When did it start? Are you trying to give it up, or are you just reconciled to the fact that you will always have it? Would anyone think less of you if they knew about it? I'm trying to give it up. He knows I am, but I'm only human. Heaven forbid if anyone should find out. :-o

BONUS: Am I loud enough? Eh?

Participation Positives

A good weekend, despite the flooding on Saturday. We caught some of the Charlie Daniels concert at the park on Friday night. There are only two people in this world who can get away with wearing a belt buckle the size of a human head: Stone Cold and Charlie Daniels. Great show if you get the chance.

Malc turned the big 3-8 yesterday. In two years he'll be 40, in seven he'll be 45, and in twelve he'll be 50. Later I'll post his e-mail address so everybody can constantly remind him of this.

Also, Dangerous Words is close to release. A cover is on the way, too, I'm told. Stay tuned.

Wrong answer

When Corinne Wilcott found out that 19-year-old Sheena Carson was having an affair with Wilcott’s boyfriend and was 17 weeks pregnant, she attacked Carson, kicking her stomach repeatedly. “I hope the bastard dies,” Wilcott said, according to prosecutors. Now Wilcott, one of the first convicted of murder in March under Pennsylvania’s Crimes Against the Unborn Child Act, faces up to 40 years in prison. - from the article "The War Over Fetal Rights"

Take a look at the pictures at the beginning of the article.

Harborfest is this weekend, and it stands to reason that I won't be going anywhere, because traffic is always a mighty pain in the a$$ during this event. Although, it will be difficult to pass up a festival featuring both The Charlie Daniels Band and Morris Day and the Time. Not at the same time, mind you.

It's expected to rain, anyway. Typical of our city's big festivals. Two weeks from now we have the Bayou Boogaloo Cajun Food Festival, which has been rained upon every time Malc and I have attended. Have you ever tried to eat beignets in the rain? Powdered sugar and mud everywhere.

You wanna piece of Google?

I got this from LifeTimes Catholic eZine, and had to share some of it. The newsletter's editor talks about Googlefight:

After discovering the answers to some of life's most important questions, like the fact that Creed beat Celine Dion 3-to-1 (I can't wait to tell my wife), I decided to test the talk I've been hearing lately.

There seems to be a common belief that the Catholic Church is far behind the technological curve. Protestant churches are leading the charge into the online world, leaving us poor technophobes to eat their cyber-dust.

So I put "Catholic" into the GoogleFight ring, and here's what I found...

Round #1: Catholic vs. Protestant

Winner: Catholic

Results: 8.12 million to 1.17 million

It goes on for nine more rounds. The archive of the rest of this article will be up at their website soon.

BTW, I just came from Googlefight. In case you care, paper beats plastic and rock beats scissors.

First OxyContin-related homicide reported in Virginia. I have a relative who has worked as a drugstore manager for years, and of all the tales with which he regales us (I keep telling him to write a book) none are more interesting than the ones involving OxyContin. Where he works, the store is only allowed to carry so much of the stuff, and it has to be locked away because people have been robbing area drugstores for it (sometimes they'll take the cash, too). Others have tried to forge prescriptions, pitching unholy fits and knocking over displays when they don't get what they want. No wonder some pharmacies have glass partitions at the counters. I hope it's bulletproof.


I have a cold.

A friend from high school, whose mother is Japanese, once told me that a Japanese legend states that people who get colds in the summertime are largely regarded as being not very bright. In my defense, I'll just say that with this crazy weather it doesn't feel like summer, so maybe the elements are fooling my immune system.

In the sequel they're sucked through the time/space continuum and hook up with Jean-Luc and the gang

A friend sends this link to Liverpool Fantasy, a speculative fiction work concerning what might have happened if the Beatles never hit it big. John's the town drunk, Paul's a Vegas lounge singer (I can actually see that), Ringo's a drummer for another band, and George is a Jesuit priest! That should make Karen Hall happy. Anyway, the story involves the four reuniting for something or other. I'm sure hilarity ensues.

Truth be told, I have planned a speculative novel for my next NaNo project. A bit different from Fantasy, but I'll bet the author never thought to cross the Fabs with The Drew Carey Show like I did.

Gregg is soliciting suggestions for observing Dylan's birthday in two weeks. It would be nice to do something. I'd suggest something like cleaning out of Wodehouse and Waugh, but I'm sure Dylan has everything already.

Yes, I have a lot of praying to do

Madonna's first children's book to be released in September. This is part of a five-book series. Suggested titles for the others:

  • Heather Has Two Mommies, Two Daddies, and a Press Agent
  • Debbie's First Garter Belt
  • How to Dance Around Naked and Influence Young Consumers
  • Why the Oscars are Fixed

The Friends Blog: a weblog allegedly written by the six Friends, leading up to the show's final season. I didn't watch the last one, I kind of gave up after Monica and Chandler got married. I'm curious to know if this thing is being ghost-written. The thoughts aren't that deep, not like Wil Wheaton. :-)


I received another forwarded message about the St. Therese movie, so I'm posting the link if you haven't been to the site. Looks very interesting; I've read Story of a Soul and some of Therese's poetry; she's one of my own patrons (you'd know that if you read Little Flowers, where the saint figures prominently). I'd always thought Therese's life story would make for a good stage musical, but I'm not that artistically inclined to write one. Looking forward to the movie, however.

Just a random thought...

If a guy wants to feed lobsters in a supermarket lobster tank, I have no problem with that. What I don't get is this: the article mentions the guy is an animal rights activist, yet the guy was feeding scallops to the lobsters. Doesn't this go against an activist's credo? I have vegetarian/activists friends who refuse to feed meat to their pets.

Gemstar may close e-book division (LA Times). If you haven't registered, the story reads in part:

Closing the division is the "most likely" choice that Gemstar will make after it tries to sell the business or find partners for it, [CEO] Shell said at an investor conference in New York. Gemstar has hired investment bankers for advice and probably will make a decision in the next couple weeks, he added. The division, which develops technology to distribute books through electronic devices, is consuming $12 million in cash a year, Shell said.

Gemstar's books, I believe, are produced mainly for the RCA eBook Reader, which I don't own. Many of those eBooks are NYC house titles, big names, and sell for about the same prices as a hardcover or trade paperback, so I can see how Gemstar is losing money. People are likely too skittish to pay that much for an eBook, something some people don't perceive as tangible. Though you can find some pretty good stuff for under ten dollars, even much less. Saints goes for about six bucks in eBook format.

I use a Handspring PDA and eBook freeware, which suits me fine, though I might get an eBookMan now that the price is coming down on them. The eBookMan doubles as an MP3 player, so I could download audio books from Audiofile if I wished.

Monday Mission!

On Tuesday!

1. What habit do people have that drives you crazy but doesn't seem to bother anyone else?

Sometimes when Malc is writing he sticks out his tongue, especially when he's in deep concentration. Drives me buggy.

2. I just had to replace the compressor in my car. That was $400 I didn't have that is now gone. Have you had any expensive car trouble recently?

I have car trouble now. My windshield wipers are permanently stuck in an upright position when they are turned off. They work fine otherwise, but I don't have the money to get them repaired.

3. How do you feel about mothers who breastfeed their children in public? At what age do you think they should stop?

I don't know, I've always seen that as a private thing between mother and child. I notice many women carry these wraps with them to cover themselves when in public, I see no problem with that.

4. I was watching the "Antiques Road Show" recently, and the resident "expert" presented the "Atari 2600" game system as a popular collectible. I am now officially OLD! Do you recall the first item from your youth that became an "antique" and made you feel old and how you felt? Or if it hasn't happened, yet, what item do you think it will be and how do you expect it to make you feel?

8-tracks were on their way out when I was little. I remember seeing them ten for a buck in a bin at Revco Drugs. Come to think of it, the entire Revco chain went under not long after that. I am old.

5. Do you like rainy days/nights? What type of weather makes you feel relaxed?

I love a rainy night, it's such a beautiful sight, I love to feel the rain on my face...gah! Eddie Rabbitt flashback. I am old.

6. We used to joke about the retired couple across the street. Every night, they would pull out their lawn chairs, sit in their driveway and watch the world go by. We laughed about how someone would just waste away their life like that. Now, eight years later, I pull out the lawn chairs and we find ourselves doing exactly the same thing. Life has a way of making one humble. Have you ever found that you have become that which you once ridiculed?

Not yet, but the century is still young.

7. Have you ever sent an e-mail to the wrong person? What was the most embarrassing experience you remember?

I have, though the person was very kind. The most embarrassing e-mail experience happened when I posted something to a mailing list instead of mailing it privately. Not fun.

It had to happen...

Somebody finally registered The main page isn't much, but the site is now hosting Catholic Light. I'm sure more will follow. Glad somebody got the URL before Larry Flynt did.

New Catholic publisher

Received this in the e-mail:

Catholic Family Media is a NEW Catholic publishing house, a small press digital publisher specializing in works of Catholic fiction, nonfiction (including anthologies and poetry), and Catholic children's literature. Works are published by Catholic Family Media in the following format: PDF (Adobe), Microsoft Reader, HTML, CD-ROM, and paperback. All works published by Catholic Family Media are faithful to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.

Catholic Family Media, seeks manuscripts of fiction, nonfiction (including anthologies and poetry), and Catholic children's literature. We welcome new writers, and authors retain all rights to their work. Simultaneous submissions are not accepted.

For more information and submission guidelines, please contact Rose Contreras, owner, at, by phone at 210-680-2359, or send a fax to 1-831-305-7353.

If the megabytes are free, why buy the cow?

Ebooks catch on, but only for hardcore fans, so the article goes. Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is the focus of the article, how he's using free eBook distribution to plug the paperback version of the same title.

Enter the Matrix...

George is the baseball-loving, barbecue-eating leader of the free world. Jacques is an Evian-guzzling hanger-on from the glory days of Moulin Rogue. Together, this summer, they'll be fighting crime and kicking ass on the mean streets of Baltimore in Dude, Where's My War?

No offense to the people of Baltimore, or anybody else who might be offended (I'm sure there's a few out there). I saw this picture on Yahoo! and went into Dennis Miller mode. How could I not caption it? Dubya looks like he's about to whirl around and pop Jacques upside the head.

Participation Positives

  • Maybe I'll lose a pound or two from all this moving.
  • Sending my entries to the annual Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Awards today. Entering under Best Mystery. Happy thoughts!
  • Received a nice letter from a reader who enjoyed Saints. William Ferguson is also an author; he wrote the YA novel Jonah Christopher and the Last Mass. Check it out for your young readers.
  • Got a lead on book promotion. A copy of Saints is going to a book radio show in Richmond. Fingers crossed!

Only some random number days until Genny goes to college.

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::fan fiction::
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20th Century Pope: JPII
Aqua Teen: Frylock
Barbie: Harley
Beatle Album: Magical Mystery Tour
Beatle Era: Hamburg
Beatle Film Character: Paul's Grandfather
Beatle Kid: Dhani Harrison
Beatle Song: "Yellow Submarine"
Brady Bunch: Greg
Brideshead Revisited: Lady Cordelia Flyte
British: 32.5%
Boy Band: Beatles
Canadian: 33%
Cartoon Dog: Snoopy
Catholic order: St. John Bosco
Cheers: Norm!
Christmas Carol: Silent Night
Cocktail: Bloody Mary
Dante's Inferno: Purgatory
David Bowie: late 60s/early 70s
Decade: the 60s
Disney Princess: Belle
Drew Carey Career: Human Resources
Edward Gorey: Gashleycrumb
Elvis: 50s
Evil: 18%
Foreign Language: Italian
Founding Father: John Adams
Ian McKellan: Just Ian
Inner Sexy Cartoon Chick: Wilma Flintstone
Internet Addict: 45%
Iron Chef: Chairman Kaga
Jane Austen: Elinor Dashwood
Jedi: Knight
John Cusack: John Kelso
Journal Rating: PG-13
Led Zeppelin song: Whole Lotta Love
LifeSaver: lemon
Lone Gunmen: Byers
LoTR: Legolas
M&M: blue
Madonna: Soul
M*A*S*H: Hawkeye
Monkees: Micky
Movie for Me: Forrest Gump
Muppet: Fozzie
Music god: Sting
Narnia: The Magician's Nephew
Old Movie: Citizen Kane
Parrothead: True
Peanuts: Linus
Retro Girl: Seductive Pin-Up
Rugrats: Angelica
Simpsons: Disco Stu
Star Trek: Spock
Star Trek race: Human
Store to Loot: Mega Grocer
Three's Company: Janet
Tolkien Beliefs: Conservative
Ugly Prom Dress: 80s
US City: Atlanta
VW Beetle: Black
Whose Line?: Colin Mochrie
Wife of Henry VIII: Anne of Cleves
Willy Wonka: Veruca
Wodehouse: Bertie Wooster
Wrestler: Stone Cold
Writer: Mystery

The WeatherPixie