Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Adapt or die

This day should have been spent working on my WIP - except my printer had other ideas ...

I managed (only just) to avoid my initial instinct to crawl under the duvet and stay there until someone made things work (which would be a l-o-o-o-n-g time).

Instead, I finally got round to creating a separate blog for the Revo posts published on this blog in 2008/9.
I've been promising myself I'd do it for ages.  I wanted the posts to all be in one place for ease of use for anyone doing research - or just curious.

For those of you who weren't hanging out here back then, the posts are about my time living in Grenada during the revolution, coup, US invasion and aftermath 1982-1983.

For some ridiculous reason, I can't seem to add links in the sidebar, and some of the photos seem to have gone AWOL so it's still a work in progress, but it's there and it's real. 

Comments are disabled on the new blog, but feedback will always be welcome here. 

There is much spitting and gnashing of teeth chez Alper today

Look. I'm not difficult. I don't ask for much. I do believe I give more than I take in life.

So why oh why, when all I want to do is print my own sodding MS, has my printer chosen today to act up? I print other people's MSes all the time without any trouble.

I spent yesterday working on the 1st draft of Book 6 online for the things I already knew about.
Next stage is to print a hard copy and work through to produce a 2nd draft.

I have the time (which is rare in itself).
I certainly have the inclination ...

What I also have is a malevolent printer who's squatting next to my desk chuckling to itself as I sweat and swear over its inner workings.
It is, I tell you.

I'm held in thrall by a useless piece of crap technology that has worked fine(ish) for all the years that I've had it and has chosen today of all days to act out the part of a recalcitrant gremlin.

The way I see it, I now have 3 choices:

1) I can take to my bed and refuse to get up until the world goes away.
2) I can get the saw out of the cupboard and spend a pleasant day hacking bits off the printer.
3) I can go for a walk and attempt to breathe while I do so.

Right. I'll try for option 3. But I tell you this, if when I get back there's no change in the attitude of hpdeskjet 990cxi, you'd better lock your doors and stay away from the windows 'til I tell you it's safe to come back out.

Me and my mates are on the warpath. Shit technology is in our sights and its days are numbered.
Be afraid ... be very afraid ...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Long List

I've just sent my regular 'what I'm up to' email to my agent. It's always good to take a step back and remind myself exactly how it is I spend my time, so I thought I'd reproduce it here.
As far as I'm concerned though, the most important piece of news is that I've finished the 1st draft of Identity Flawed and I'm very excited by it. My top priority now is to work on this whenever I have time. I hope to get the final draft to you within the next few months.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Puff the Magic Dragon

I'm under no illusions. I know perfectly well that the one thing that could make a difference to my ears as well as my general health would be to stop smoking.

I assumed all smokers knew that. Surely there are none of us left still in denial ...

Check this conversation I had yesterday while huddled in the cold with a fellow addict.

Her: I've got a hole in my lung.
Me: Oh dear. Shouldn't imagine smoking is a good idea ...

Her: Aha! That's where you're wrong. my doctor told me on no account should I give up smoking.

Me: Really?

Her: Yep. Apparently, the tar is blocking up the hole. If I stop, the tar would go and the hole would open up and get bigger.

Me: And the doctor told you this?

Her: (rolling another fag) Yep. I've got asthma too. I've only got about 60% lung function. D'you know what the doctor told me to do if I have an asthma attack?
Me: Let me guess. He told you to smoke a fag.

Her: Yep. He said that way I'm concentrating on taking deep breaths in.

Me: Was this by any chance the same doctor who told you about the tar ...?

Now, like I said, I'm not in denial about the health-giving properties of tobacco, but any activity that has the upside of giving you insights like the above conversation has to have something going for it ...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I got the power!

It's like this.
My bionic ears, aka Desdemona and Hortense, are callibrated to my maximum hearing loss (approx 70%).

But here's the thing: my hearing fluctuates.
So when it's not too bad, D & H amplify every sound so that I can hear worms turning the earth. In Australia.
The volume control is not sufficently adjustable to turn it down to a more normal level.

I don't mind really. It makes life ... interesting.
Yesterday, for example, I was sitting on the bus and found I could hear both sides of other people's mobile conversations. Which was even more remarkable as I can't hear my own phone.

Like I say, interesting. It would have been even more so if the conversation I was eavesdropping on had been in English, but you can't have everything.

Anyway, I'm thinking about auditioning for Heroes if only I can convince them my power isn't dependant on digital devices. Please don't shop me ...

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Brace yourself

The orthodontist has told First Born he's a borderline case but will probably be able to get braces on the NHS. But here's the thing ... his teeth really aren't bad. The incisors are very slightly out of line but that's it.

So he needs to decide whether he wants to have a mouthful of heavy metal train track braces for a year followed by several years wearing retainers at night to correct a very slight misalignment that would have no health consequences.
'Top and bottom?' I asked. 'Because his bottom ones look perfect to me.'
'Yes, we'd do both,' she replied. (Her own teeth were very white and very straight.) 'We want him to have a perfect smile, don't we?'

Do we? Perfection. Are any of us perfect? Can we be possibly be so without painful corrective measures? Should we even want to be? Aren't imperfections what make us unique and distinct from each other? If we have the attitude that every small 'imperfection' has to be dealt with, is there not a risk we could all end up as bland anodyne versions of the same template?

What is a 'perfect smile' anyway? I'd've thought that has to come from within, not be the result of straight teeth.

What do I know ... if he wants them, of course I'll support him and I have urged him to think carefully.

Anyway, while I'm talking teeth I thought I'd share this story my mum once told me about her mother.

Apparently, the whole family made a rare trip to the seaside and my grandmother went for a paddle. Don't ask me how, but somehow she managed to lose her false teeth in the sea. Gallantly, the men set up a search party.

No chance, you'd think. Yet some time later one of my uncles emerged from the sea, proudly holding up a set of gnashers.
What are the odds against that, would you reckon?

But if you want real improbability, wait for the punchline.

They weren't hers.