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So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Monday, January 31, 2005

Locked and Loaded

I entered my first 10 iTunes/Pepsi codes in this morning. I'm fully primed to win one of the 24 silver iPod Minis they're giving away every day. Tomorrow I have 5 more codes to enter (I didn't see any giveaway caps last week in California) and then I run dry. Maybe I'll pick a few more up on Wednesday when I'm in town.

Bob Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home looks like the first album I'll get with my winning caps.

Mikesell : 9:23 PM : 0 snarky remarks

My First Non-Self-Published Original Work Sees the Light of Day

On this blog, as well as my writing blog, I've featured original fiction and (allegedly) original thoughts and commentary.

When I worked at NurseWeek Magazine I occasionally wrote filler items for them.

When I worked for Crow's I wrote a couple Forest Industry Journal stories for them and re-wrote press releases for a section of the Weekly Market Report newsletter.

Finally someone has taken something that I wrote and used it on their own because they actually liked it and not because they were paying me for it anyway (not that any money will be exchanging hands in this case).

Background: Since last October or so, I've been checking out a website called Church Marketing Sucks; their title basically explains their coverage as well as their off-center sense of humor. Back in early November there was an entry about a t-shirt with the message "A Church Invitation: We Suck..." and then went on to ennumerate their sucky ways. Some of the readers liked the idea, others were opposed. I was opposed (for reasons given in the comments section for the entry; I'm Rhinoguy by the way). Instead, I suggested "Now 17% Less Judgmental" as a church t-shirt slogan that would get attention and generate conversation.

According to Robin Bailey, pastor of The Annex in Cochrane, Alberta (near Calgary), it has. In addition to the slogan appearing on their home page, Pastor Robin has written an article about their post-slogan experience.

He's promised me a t-shirt if he ever prints one up (he really should have them output in bulk), or whatever other swag gets produced.

Good deal.

[Update]

I got the shirt in May (thanks Robin). Here's an excerpt from my blog post:

Last Thursday I got the following e-mail from Robin Bailey, pastor of The Annex:
Hey Chris! Your shirt is on its way, you should get it in the next couple of weeks! Let me know what you think. Also our website is www.the-annex.ca and if you run into anyone that wants a shirt they come with white or school bus orange print both on green for $20 US including shipping.
I got the shirt in the mail yesterday, and made Phil model it this afternoon.
  • Front view
    Sometimes Phil wishes I would put the camera away. He needs to work on his judgmentalism -- a 17% reduction is not enough in his case.

  • Back view


TO ORDER A SHIRT: e-mail Robin.

Mikesell : 8:09 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Another Day, Another Bump

We just got back home from California and checked my Amazon ranking and it had bumped up to 2,316.

Yay! (and I need to get a life)

Mikesell : 1:16 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Saturday, January 29, 2005

...to a Deluxe Apartment in the Sky

Less than a week after movin' on up to 2,400 at Amazon, I'm now at 2,358.

Yay!

Mikesell : 10:54 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, January 28, 2005

Sidehacking

My dad recently got a Ural motorcycle. Yeah, I'd never heard of it either.

Anyhoo, it's a Russian bike and he got one of the models with sidecar. Today he took it over to the parking lot of a neighborhood park and gave us rides.

Here're the pix:Next it was my turn:Then Dina got in on the action:Phil got to ride in the sidecar for a block and a half on the way homeAnd just in case you though something bad's happened to Grandma...

Mikesell : 9:32 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Back to Reality

Well, the conference ends today and it's back to reality. It was a very good conference with great speakers and presentations.

Last night SYSCO put on a banquet with the best of their food service products and vendors supplying the meal. Mmmmm ... good eats. Too bad we've had bad experience with SYSCO in our area.

The biggest shock, though, will be going back to dial-up after four days of high-speed wireless internet access.

<sigh>

Mikesell : 9:42 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Yosemite Pictures

Today we spent the day in Yosemite National Park.

Every day in Yosemite is a good day, even if it's overcast and occasionally rainy.

Here are some pix:This is as close as Phil will get to staying at Yosemite Lodge:This is closer than I should have gotten to the local fauna:

Mikesell : 12:38 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, January 24, 2005

Movin' On Up

New Amazon Ranking: 2400

Mikesell : 11:47 AM : 0 snarky remarks

I'm Baa-aack

It turns out that The Episcopal Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO) has free high-speed wi-fi in their dining hall/lounge area.

So I'm back online.

Antisocial, but online.

Mikesell : 1:06 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Saturday, January 22, 2005

TTFN

I'm out of here for a week or so. Don't know about internet access where I'm going, so if I don't blog between now and the end of the month, it's not because my life is so boring there's nothing to write about.

It's because my life is so boring there's nothing to write about AND there's no internet access.

Mikesell : 3:50 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

75th Book Review

There's another review over there in the drop-down menus. This time for The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, the final book I read last year.

Why you should read my review of The Know-It-All: It's not the best review ever, I admit - it kind of rambles at the end. On the other hand, while I was rambling I threw in an old stand-up comedy bit from my youth (Carlin? Cosby? Winters?), which I've always found amusing.

Enjoy.


Mikesell : 12:39 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Bookstore Coupon

Got a Borders, Waldenbooks or a Brentano's* in your neighborhood? Then print out this coupon and save 25%.

Coupon expires 1/23.

*If your next-door neighbor is named Brentano (Dave Brentano, Fifi Brentano, you get the idea), they might not honor the coupon. Maybe they will, who knows. Give it a shot, but don't get upset and dump your yard clippings on their lawn if they don't.

Mikesell : 12:00 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Monday, January 17, 2005

Back to the Beginning ... Again

Tonight I begin my first read of the manuscript I wrote last November (it's been six weeks since then, how time flies).

I'll probably go through it a couple times, making notes, figuring out names for the people and places I named "whatever" in the first draft, drawing a map, etc. If I come up with something halfway insightful, I'll post it over on my NaNo blog.

The iTunes count is 8, in case you were wondering.

Mikesell : 1:21 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, January 14, 2005

Phil and His Split Personalities

Here are some photos of Phil: Boy of Destiny!

Mikesell : 11:03 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Another Fact, Jack

Yesterday, I speculated that the swirly indentations at the top of the iTunes Pespi bottle was there to thwart tippers from identifying winning bottles. While doing further research online, I came across this from last year which shows a Pepsi bottle with the same swirly pattern. So there was no revamping.

Last night I tried tipping some bottles and found that it's still easy to identify winners.

Songs won last year: 35
Songs won this year: 4
Days until the contest actually begins: 18

Yay!

Mikesell : 10:24 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Desperately Seeking Lawsuit

Apple Computer has recently gone after some Mac rumor sites over the spilling of "trade secrets" relating to their new Mini-Mac computer. There's been a lot of criticism of this action, as well as some speculation that Apple took legal action to draw attention to the rumor and heighten anticipation for it to be quashed or become fact at MacWorld in San Francisco. I say, "Meh."

Here's something that's not a rumor. It's a fact.

Not only will Apple be partnering with Pepsi to give away free iTunes in the month and a half after the Superbowl, Apple will also be giving away 1 iPod Mini every hour during the giveaway. Not 1 iPod Mini a day, 1 iPod Mini an hour. For their part Pepsi will be giving away free Pepsis in a buy one/get one offer found under some caps. Odds for winning a song are 1 in 3; odds for getting a b1/g1 offer are 1 in 6. Each "free song" code gets you an entry into the iPod Mini drawing; you're limited to 10 entries per day, 200 for the run of the contest. My reading of the fine print indicates that each day's entries remain in the pool of potential winners (the drawings aren't limited to those who've entered a code "that hour" or "that day").

The 20 oz. bottle I bought at [a local retailer] had a yellow cap and a spiral pattern of indentations at the top (presumably to thwart "tippers" from checking the bottle to see if it's a winner before purchasing it). The cap I got was a "free song" winner, with a 10-character code like last year's campaign.

The Apple website has no info on the promotional

I googled for "iTunes Pepsi 2005" and couldn't find any info on the new contest (one site indicated there would be a partnership, but had no details), so as far as I'm concerned I call "first post."

If Apple has a problem with this post, I'm sure their lawyers will be in touch. If they want to know the name of the store where I purchased the early-release bottle, a framed subpeona and a new high-end iPod Shuffle will do the trick.

Mikesell : 3:12 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

First Book Review of the Year

Last month a friend at a Christian magazine sent me a book called Chop Shop by an author named Tim Downs. Chop Shop is the second in the "Bug Man" series about a forensic entomologist. It was a good book and I sent him a review of it to include in a new department he's heading up (after it runs, I'll likely write an Amazon review, too). After Christmas, in order to make an Amazon shipment go over the $25 mark and qualify for free shipping, I ordered the first book in the series, Shoofly Pie. Since I wasn't under obligation to anyone to review the book for them, I wrote a review at Amazon.

Why you should read my review of Shoofly Pie: I'm especially proud of the title of the review. I was surprised that no one beat me to it, but there you go. I also comment on the difference between typical secular and "Christian" books and how this one isn't business-as-usual for either category.


Mikesell : 1:28 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Poetry Shmoetry

At one point in my zombie novel, the girl who gets killed in a car+bike=ewwww accident shows a poem to the main character, written the night after she was resurrected. During November I left a parenthetical note saying something to the effect of "write a poem later and put it here."

I've spent the past week and a half trying to come up with a poem and kept stalling out because my idea of a good rhyme can be seen in the title of this blog entry. So I went online last night and googled "rhyming dictionary" and spent a couple hours off and on visiting rhymezone.com. Now I have some high-quality poetry like this stanza about the disappearance of avian statuary:
Three weeks later a sparrow went,
Another month, two starlings.
And I wondered what malcontent
Was stealing God’s precious darlings.

The poem isn't great, but I'm only shooting for 15-year-old-girl-with-head-trauma quality. Hopefully I'm in the ballpark (the poem is being workshopped now, when it's ready I'll share more).

I write poetry like a teen-aged girl. My parents must be so proud.

Mikesell : 3:36 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, January 03, 2005

Books of the Year

Last year I read a total of 57 books (17,516 pages).

That's two more books (804 pages) than I read in 2003.

What books?

Take a look.


Mikesell : 1:05 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year, Indeed

Three good things about today:

Mikesell : 6:41 PM : 0 snarky remarks

I'm a Non-Winner

Well, the results are in at the faith*in*fiction/Infuse Christmas Story Contest and "By Any Other Name" was not among the ten chosen stories*. I'm disappointed, but as they say: What ever doesn't kill you, postpones the inevitable.

At least I have two short stories under my belt - in addition to the novel rough draft - and I met one of my many life goals.

The final two months of 2004 were surprisingly productive.

2005 should be six times as good.

*See 12/27 - 12/31 entries here and "Happy Holidays" through "Missing Christmas" here.


Mikesell : 1:22 AM : 0 snarky remarks