Author Archives: Anony Mole

Twenty pounds of acorns

UPDATE: 30 hours later and all the acorns are gone; squirreled away into every orifice the land and forest can offer. The juniors, naively, try to bury what they steal from the pile in the yard, directly. Pat, pat, tuck, tuck, their little paws smooth the ruffled grass and earth in the pretense of an undisturbed, you-didn’t-see-anything condition. Were humans to vanish this instant from the area, no doubt, in a year we’d have oak-sprouts bursting forth. In 20 years, a new forest would emerge. But, alas, we, nature’s infidels, persist. Hopefully, some of those luscious nodules find their way into those furry rascals’ bellies, come spring.

Brooke Breazeale bet me 5 pounds of chestnuts I couldn’t find 20 pounds of acorns. So I had to show her up.

I rigged a bag-on-a-hanger and a broom and, ahem, cleaned up.  Boy, are our squirrels gonna love that pile!

Over near where I now work (woohoo, 5 weeks down and 500 more to go!) are acres of massive oak trees that drop the most gorgeous, plump acorns. The “mast” have pale yellow flesh and I find myself wanting to chaw down on a few of the lovely specimens. Of the local tribes of the Willamette Valley, the Kalapuya, who claimed this area before Lewis & Clarke and John Astor showed up (John Jacob Astor is the namesake of Astoria — and a member of the Waldorf Astoria family hotel chain), used to harvest these seeds, shell them, leech them to remove the testas (which contain bitter tannin), and then mash them up to make meal for flatbread. I have considered replicating their process, but, alas, Dave’s Killer Bread is a lot more easily come by…

If you’re not familiar with the Willamette Valley — it’s the reason the Oregon Trail was created.

Enjoy you rambunctious tree rats, you.


A better TODO list

(Sent to Atlassian – makers of Jira – an issue management software application.)

Missing layer — per user task list MyTODO:

MyTODO

I’m sure I could think of a dozen enhancements (as could you).
But basically, a simple personal task list linked to content found in the Atlassian cloud. I’d like it possible to use a Surface or IPad to write/recognize text, but plain keyboard entry is fine. And that’s it.

Sure, things like duration spent per task, may be another task type (but things to do, things to remember, things to ask are really all you need). And priority? It’s either hot or not.

Links between tasks would be nice perhaps. And maybe arbitrary HTTP links. But simple is the key here. If one needs complex entry – add a Trello board or Confluence post or Jira Ticket — right?

I’ll stay on line while you guys create this…
Or do you need help?

Oh, and I checked out the Atlassian marketplace: https://marketplace.atlassian.com/ — all the TODO or checklist or tasklist plugins? Yeah, they all suck.

~~~

I mocked this up in Paint, of all things.

 


Squirrels Love Dave’s Killer Bread

Dave’s Killer Bread vs Acorns.

Here you will witness an experiment. Below you will find an array of acorns matched with a line of Dave’s Killer Bread.

Now, truth be known, EVERY squirrel in our back hard loves DKB. They eat it out of our hands and fight over it like demons.

However, notice the progression of missing nuts. Below you you will see one larger, wiser squirrel FORGO the bread in lieu of the acorns — every time he comes back (yes it’s a he). He comes back TEN times to take every nut.

Yet the younger, adolescent squirrel, will take the bread — every time — ignoring the nuts. In fact, we had two youngsters bopping up and taking bread while the older squirrel sequestered every nut on display out into the yard.

I opened the door and sat their trying to capture photographs of these guys. (Look at the size of those acorns!) This was about 18 inches away. The big fellow came in and gave me a sniff once, but opted for — you guessed it — another acorn.

The bread is this nutty, heavy protein stuff that the tree-rats beg for on a daily basis. To actually ignore it is an amazing feat of dedication vs temptation. The wee squirrels didn’t give a fuck about the future, “gimme my daily bread you damn humans!” The adult had one thing in mind, take every nut and save it. It was a stunning example of the dichotomy of youth vs elders.


Death to Amazon

October 8th, 2018
• Submitted The Gribble’s Eye to Draft2Digital publishing engine.

Days elapse…
• All of the publishing venues approve the submission — ACCEPT Amazon.

Why? No one can say. “BLOCKED” read the publishing segment in D2D. Well, fuck me sideways. Thanks you, you Bezosian troglodyte. No email from the Big ASS, sorry AZZ. No indication as to why. Just “BLOCKED.”

A D2D agent was kind enough to inform me (after my befuddled email) that the Big AZZ had blocked my submission because the story was “already available as a blog.” WHAT? You mean the promotion I tried, in vain, to do months ago — they thought “that” was the part-‘n-parcel of the novel I was publishing? You bloody-fuckin’-lame-ass-toads…

(The CME can NOT come soon enough — centered on northwestern Washington state.)

So… I’ve privatized all the Gribble’s content. “No, CrapAzon, I wasn’t trying to infringe upon some website blog with a year’s worth of work in the form of an illustrated novel. (You idiots!)”

– Oh, Amazon is mostly automated (by algos written by bonobos, (sex crazed chimpanzees)) so they can’t really respond, or realize their egregious mistakes regarding prior content on the web… (Bullshit)

– Oh, Amazon is so large that they can do whatever they please when it comes to content. (NoShit – time to die, Amazon!)

– Oh, Amazon YOU SUCK! (Yeah, we suck, every living dollar from the world’s pocketbooks.)

 

 


Telling is easy, showing is hard

Kill me now. Right fucking now. Alright, wait a moment, but just a moment. Have that shiv ready.

I’ve said it before. As have a million bloody armchair writer/teachers. I’ve said it to myself a dozen-fifty times. The truth is: this is a truth that never stops being true.

And you can beat your head against it, and wrestle with it, but the bottom line always comes down to the fact that the best stories go the distance, spend the effort, take the time to show the reader and not tell the reader.

Everyone died.
The end.

There. The ultimate “telling” story line.

What more do you need, really, to get the point across about this story? If that’s all you wanted to convey, the fact that “everyone died,” then you’re done.

But if you want to entertain, and here, I think, is the crux of the matter, if you want to entertain a reader then you must lead them purposefully on a storytime journey.

Yeah your story is complex and the physics and chemistry and technology and geology and climate and every gottdamned natural (or unnatural aspect) is integral to your story and you just have to get that knowledge into the reader… Or do you? Maybe it’s our assumptions about what WE, the writer think is important — just isn’t.

And if it is, then the information should must come from one of the characters. If the CHARACTER thinks it’s important to dwell upon, then that must be the test as to whether the reader should dwell upon it too.

Phil says: get out of the damn way and let the story tell the story.

But it’s so much damn work. Christ on a swizzel-stick, can’t I just TELL the reader some stuff? Sure, but apparently only, like .004% of your story should be of the flavor, “And so it transpired, Job felt he must succumb to his wife’s beatings, lest his lord think him a braggart and a louse of the lowest level.”

Showing is work. Telling is not. But telling is not entertaining. Showing, reader discovery through envisioned settings, behavior and events — is. Sorry.

So, get back to work you mewling Mole!

 

 


An occupied mind

My mind is saturated. So much so that the thought of writing original work seems impossible right now.

I’m just over two weeks into this new gig. The learning-tasks I’ve been told to undertake are manifold: a new platform (Microsoft AX — an ERP), a new language (X++), a new business domain (transportation mfg.), a new scripting language (Powershell), and a new and complex build and deployment process.

Needless to say, my mind is fully occupied. So much so that I have zero desire to sit down to pen fiction. Which leads me to ponder the concept of mental overload. I’m quite content right now with my mind being crammed with newness. It’s as though I had this brain-tank that was running at half full for a few years. Into it I could pour all sorts of fiction fancy. I’d fall asleep fabricating new plots and stories. Now? Now, I fall asleep juggling the new business puzzle pieces that have been dumped into my mind.

And I’m OK with it. I’m not going to try and fight the trend. I figure that once I get acclimated my brain-tank will begin to empty and into it I’ll once again trickle oddities and oblique oscillations of thought.

Do you cycle between mental saturation of workplace or family and story time? Or can you keep them both topped-off and bubbling?

 


Writer’s Log: 1885 Pedalin’

Back when I used to ride a street bike through the hills of Marin County.

Pedalin’

I pedaled long,
barbed fence after fence raced my fleeting form.
I pedaled smooth,
muscled metronome, one revolution per second.
I pedaled steep,
shady redwoods grew at impossible angles on the mountain side.
I pedaled quick,
a blue Mercedes grazed my left hip.
I pedaled hard,
salty beads slid down from my armpits and temples.

I coasted.

Black and yellow bees, large enough to hurt,
buzzed at my head.
Thin strands of weeds, tanned in the summer sun
whipped at my ankles.
Flitting brown sparrows, trim ones with sleek profiles,
air danced at my side.
Heady scented wind, warm but touched with ocean mist,
streamed into my lungs.

I pedaled slow,
cool sweat chilled the nape of my neck.
I pedaled on,
under bolls of clouds hanging listless in an achingly blue sky.

I stopped.
I had reached the cheese factory and it was time for lunch.
I ate.
I pedaled home.