Do not operate a submarine while reading this blog

I downloaded a new app to my smart phone and prior to engaging it the application required me to read the End-User License Agreement.

Most of the time I click the box that means, yeah, I “read” it.

Pay attention non-readers, not every boring End-User License Agreement is boring. In fact, these manufacturers believe that * I * am anything but boring, too!

Mostly, they’re right.

But to make sure we were on the same page, the End-User License Agreement detailed what was intended by high risk activities I should avoid conducting while using their product, and I quote:

HIGH RISK ACTIVITIES: The software is not fault-tolerant and is not designed, manufactured or intended for use in hazardous environment requiring fail-safe performance, such as the operation of:

  • Nuclear facilities
  • Aircraft navigation
  • Air traffic control
  • Implantable human medical devices
  • External human life-support machines
  • Explosives control devices
  • Submaries
  • Weapons systems
  • Or in controlling the operation of moving motor vehicles in which the failure of the Software could lead directly to death, personal injury, or severe physicial or environmental damage.

Let’s be clear. I agree. The above bullet points are high risk activities. I also think if you are intelligent enough to engage in the above activities, you are smart enough not to conduct the stated activity while using your cell phone.

But maybe not.

So, let’s be clear about you. I believe you are smart. You read my blog, follow me on Twitter and make comments on such, and due to your high use of good judgment it must also be stated that you are bright enough not to perform those activities while operating a phone (yours or mine), yelling at at kid (yours or mine) or entering into any life changing event such as getting married (while reading my blog).

In case you’re not that bright, this blog is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including, but not limited to anything I have said, might say or may never say and any of the preceding that may or may not appear in writing under my byline.

If you have any questions about the above, please leave a comment below. I will review your comments with my attorney and will craft a reply that will not place you in further danger of End-User Agreements.

If you do not place a comment, you proceed into life and future End-User Agreements at your own risk.

Cheers!


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Celebrities who’ve met ME! Meet Luke Ryan, Vice President at MGM

I met Luke Ryan in 2008 at the Willamette Writers Conference. This year we ran into each other at the same conference and reminisced about that magical moment when our paths first crossed….

Mr. Ryan exited the agent pitch area and ambled straight toward me. I manned the ‘please leave your comments here’ volunteer post. I started a friendly conversation, how’s it going, what do you do. He said he did film. I said…

“Oh-oh-oh! Are you looking for a project with an Asian man married to a Caucasian woman?!”

He gazed off into the distance giving proper thought to contemplating my query. He re-focused, took in my expectant face, looked me solidly in the eye, and uttered, “No.”

“Honesty. That I like.” I said, and smiled sheepishly. Wanting to finish on a more positive note, I asked, “Where are you from?”

He broke a smile and murmured the sweet word, “Hollywood.”

“The only person I know in Hollywood is Ed Schofield,” I chattered. “He did some work for Spielberg.”

“I’ve heard of him,” he mused.

“Really, wow, that makes me feel good,” I responded.

He gave me a sideways glance then laughed. Yeah, there’s more than one idiot at writers’ conferences.

The next day he was the luncheon speaker. The emcee announced him as a Vice President at MGM, with much heralded experience including executive producer credits of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, a movie that actually starred an Asian, Korean actor John Cho.

I’ve thought about watching the movie Ryan produced, but I can’t get excited about it. I think our tastes run in opposite direction, avoiding odd people for him, awkward moments for me.


This year I attended one of Luke Ryan’s classes. He’s a kickass, entertaining teacher and extremely generous with his time with the conference and writers.

Here’s a shout out to Luke Ryan who shared the main points of writing a detective film and a thriller and as soon as I find my notes I’ll share them on the blog.

In the meantime, wishing you much success! Oh, and besides that animation stuff for Spielberg, Schofield also had a small part in a Gary Shandling movie. Now, that would be embarrassing


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Advice I should not follow: my brother’s

There’s lots of hub-bub about social media these days. I read most of it on Twitter. I read some of it on Facebook. I re-read a Facebook warning from Little_Brother.

It is worth noting I listened to my brother.

It is worth noting I followed his directions.

This may be a momentous day.

Okay, it wasn’t.

First, Little_Brother advised everyone to update their Facebook privacy settings to keep their personal pictures out of the hands of ruthless third party advertisers. Second, I followed his advice and updated privacy settings (Click on SETTINGS up at the top where you see the log out link. Select PRIVACY. Then select NEWS FEEDS AND WALL. Next select the tab that reads FACE BOOK ADS. There is a drop down box, select NO ONE. Then SAVE your changes). Third, I checked it out.

Facebook’s reply to me, “Worried about privacy? Your photos are safe. There have been misleading rumors recently about Facebook using your photos in ads. Don’t believe them. These rumors were related to third-party applications, and not ads shown by Facebook. Get the whole story at the Facebook Blog, or check out the Help Center.”

I clicked through to the blog. Basically, they said a rumor had begun spreading, the rumor was false, someone did misuse Facebook profile photos in ads—which violated their policies, those ads were removed. They also wanted it noted that the removal occurred, then the rumor started. I say, someone smelled cover-up, disgruntled employee, jealous competitor. Take your pick.

Let’s just be clear. Before re-posting anything, vet it, investigate it, research it.

And please, hesitate before forwarding any email blast. Scope it, snope it (Snopes), and after you confirm it is TRUE, consider if it’s really necessary. Don’t be a lemming, don’t follow the crowd, don’t jump off the cliff.

Be original.

Start your own rumor.

And never, NEVER forward me what I call the-wisdom-of-the-internet-email with a gazillion people’s emails included. Just don’t do it. I will value you and your correspondence far greater if you email or post a comment: just-thinking-about-you-wanted-to-say-hi.

Seriously.

So, now what to do with all those rumors… I know you’re itching to post them somewhere. Okay, permission granted. Send them to Big_Brother. He likes ’em.


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From Today’s Email

COMPLAINT FROM FRIEND #1
Remember that [Literary agency name redacted] [contest name redacted] we entered? Well, I just got a reply from them that said, “Sorry, this contest ended 2 months ago.”

The following replies have come to mind:

  1. The straight forward approach. “I know it you dumb asses; that’s why I sent it two months ago.”
  2. The contrite approach. “Oh my, I had no idea you wouldn’t accept 2 month late submissions. Please forgive me for being so stupid.”
  3. The flattering approach. “Actually, I did send this to you two months ago, but, of course being such a large, well-respected agency, it is understandable that you wouldn’t have had time to get all of the submissions read in a timely manner. Thank you for doing your best.”
  4. The indignant approach. “Well, you certainly have a lot of nerve. If you had even considered noticing when my submission was emailed to you, you might have had the brains to also notice that it was sent over two months ago.”

Personally, I like the straight forward one the best. Burning bridges is right up my alley.

Signed,

Your Writing Friend


RESPONSE FROM 2nd WRITING FRIEND

I say, wait two months and then reply, “What contest?”


MY RESPONSE

LMAO


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Fair responsibilities, unfair requests

Monday evening the air fluttered with talk of master plans, funding options, multiple phases,type II reviews, extensions, functional facilities, warehouse storage, access roads, RV parking, box office, promoter office, developer agreements, and livestock. Livestock? Yeah, bleating, mooing, clucking animals. Buzzzz. Even bees. I sat at the fair board meeting. Me. Closest I ever came to a farm was a visit, owned a horse once—well, half a horse—grew up with cats, and adult-on-my-own brought home a dog. What do I know about fairs, except cotton candy makes me sick and the Ferris wheel makes me scream, as in eek, I’m scared. How in the world did I end up on the fair board?

Interesting question (no, it’s not), glad you asked.

Not too long ago my manager promoted me into a supervisory role along with another employee. The manager began to slice up responsibilities. “Give me anything,” I said, “But not something that takes time out of my evening. I have parental responsibilities.” The other supervisor did, too, but his parental responsibilities included overseeing his crazy mother inbetween pursuing the full, happy life of a handsome bachelor who hangs out in the nicest pick up places. Bars. Guess who got the evening chore?

Now, every second Monday I sit in a room full of people my parent’s age and talk about the county fair, and last night when they started talking about master planning, building, renovating, it just did something to my innards, as in ooh, yeah, baby. BRING IT ON. I LOVE A REMODELING JOB.

I adore remodeling so much I spent seven years putzing on our house. Then, after EVERY project went south from they ordered the wrong carpet, the paint is bubbling on the wall, they drilled a hole in the built-in cabinets in the wrong place, to the crap electrician wired for the washer, but NOT the dryer, I gave up. I could go on with a list of fifty gazillion more items, and no I am not kidding, just suffice it to say I hate knowing our first house would have been paid off by now (I know how to budget), instead, I had to tackle a dream that sunk courage into the deepest depression known to homeowners. That lament that starts, “Why, oh why did we decide to do this?” And ends with someone’s head banging against the wall. “Why?” Bang. “Whyyyyyy.” Bang. Bang. Bang.

I’m a crazy insane person. I love before-and-after, men who are skilled at their craft, the mess, the connecting of dreams with reality. Last night’s fair board meeting was no exception. My hands curled into fists opening and closing, my heart started to beat faster and my breathing stilled to slow motion with each word that brought me closer to knowing someone would pick up a hammer and bust out a wall. It was chocolate to the soul. I floated on the heady fragrance of anticipation. Yes, we can tear something down and rebuild it. Can’t wait. Really, I want to do this. Especially if someone else is paying.

It’s an evil addiction with no Remodeler’s Anonymous to guide you out of the torture. I’m taking this hammer to hell.

So, where are you headed, what have you tried to remodel lately, or what has your boss asked you to do that took time away from your personal life? Bring it on, baby! My side addiction is comments.


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Fair responsibilities, unfair requests

Monday evening the air fluttered with talk of master plans, funding options, multiple phases,type II reviews, extensions, functional facilities, warehouse storage, access roads, RV parking, box office, promoter office, developer agreements, and livestock. Livestock? Yeah, bleating, mooing, clucking animals. Buzzzz. Even bees. I sat at the fair board meeting. Me. Closest I ever came to a farm was a visit, owned a horse once—well, half a horse—grew up with cats, and adult-on-my-own brought home a dog. What do I know about fairs, except cotton candy makes me sick and the Ferris wheel makes me scream, as in eek, I’m scared. How in the world did I end up on the fair board?

Interesting question (no, it’s not), glad you asked.

Not too long ago my manager promoted me into a supervisory role along with another employee. The manager began to slice up responsibilities. “Give me anything,” I said, “But not something that takes time out of my evening. I have parental responsibilities.” The other supervisor did, too, but his parental responsibilities included overseeing his crazy mother inbetween pursuing the full, happy life of a handsome bachelor who hangs out in the nicest pick up places. Bars. Guess who got the evening chore?

Now, every second Monday I sit in a room full of people my parent’s age and talk about the county fair, and last night when they started talking about master planning, building, renovating, it just did something to my innards, as in ooh, yeah, baby. BRING IT ON. I LOVE A REMODELING JOB.

I adore remodeling so much I spent seven years putzing on our house. Then, after EVERY project went south from they ordered the wrong carpet, the paint is bubbling on the wall, they drilled a hole in the built-in cabinets in the wrong place, to the crap electrician wired for the washer, but NOT the dryer, I gave up. I could go on with a list of fifty gazillion more items, and no I am not kidding, just suffice it to say I hate knowing our first house would have been paid off by now (I know how to budget), instead, I had to tackle a dream that sunk courage into the deepest depression known to homeowners. That lament that starts, “Why, oh why did we decide to do this?” And ends with someone’s head banging against the wall. “Why?” Bang. “Whyyyyyy.” Bang. Bang. Bang.

I’m a crazy insane person. I love before-and-after, men who are skilled at their craft, the mess, the connecting of dreams with reality. Last night’s fair board meeting was no exception. My hands curled into fists opening and closing, my heart started to beat faster and my breathing stilled to slow motion with each word that brought me closer to knowing someone would pick up a hammer and bust out a wall. It was chocolate to the soul. I floated on the heady fragrance of anticipation. Yes, we can tear something down and rebuild it. Can’t wait. Really, I want to do this. Especially if someone else is paying.

It’s an evil addiction with no Remodeler’s Anonymous to guide you out of the torture. I’m taking this hammer to hell.

So, where are you headed, what have you tried to remodel lately, or what has your boss asked you to do that took time away from your personal life? Bring it on, baby! My side addiction is comments.


Top

Fair responsibilities, unfair requests

Monday evening the air fluttered with talk of master plans, funding options, multiple phases,type II reviews, extensions, functional facilities, warehouse storage, access roads, RV parking, box office, promoter office, developer agreements, and livestock. Livestock? Yeah, bleating, mooing, clucking animals. Buzzzz. Even bees. I sat at the fair board meeting. Me. Closest I ever came to a farm was a visit, owned a horse once—well, half a horse—grew up with cats, and adult-on-my-own brought home a dog. What do I know about fairs, except cotton candy makes me sick and the Ferris wheel makes me scream, as in eek, I’m scared. How in the world did I end up on the fair board?

Interesting question (no, it’s not), glad you asked.

Not too long ago my manager promoted me into a supervisory role along with another employee. The manager began to slice up responsibilities. “Give me anything,” I said, “But not something that takes time out of my evening. I have parental responsibilities.” The other supervisor did, too, but his parental responsibilities included overseeing his crazy mother inbetween pursuing the full, happy life of a handsome bachelor who hangs out in the nicest pick up places. Bars. Guess who got the evening chore?

Now, every second Monday I sit in a room full of people my parent’s age and talk about the county fair, and last night when they started talking about master planning, building, renovating, it just did something to my innards, as in ooh, yeah, baby. BRING IT ON. I LOVE A REMODELING JOB.

I adore remodeling so much I spent seven years putzing on our house. Then, after EVERY project went south from they ordered the wrong carpet, the paint is bubbling on the wall, they drilled a hole in the built-in cabinets in the wrong place, to the crap electrician wired for the washer, but NOT the dryer, I gave up. I could go on with a list of fifty gazillion more items, and no I am not kidding, just suffice it to say I hate knowing our first house would have been paid off by now (I know how to budget), instead, I had to tackle a dream that sunk courage into the deepest depression known to homeowners. That lament that starts, “Why, oh why did we decide to do this?” And ends with someone’s head banging against the wall. “Why?” Bang. “Whyyyyyy.” Bang. Bang. Bang.

I’m a crazy insane person. I love before-and-after, men who are skilled at their craft, the mess, the connecting of dreams with reality. Last night’s fair board meeting was no exception. My hands curled into fists opening and closing, my heart started to beat faster and my breathing stilled to slow motion with each word that brought me closer to knowing someone would pick up a hammer and bust out a wall. It was chocolate to the soul. I floated on the heady fragrance of anticipation. Yes, we can tear something down and rebuild it. Can’t wait. Really, I want to do this. Especially if someone else is paying.

It’s an evil addiction with no Remodeler’s Anonymous to guide you out of the torture. I’m taking this hammer to hell.

So, where are you headed, what have you tried to remodel lately, or what has your boss asked you to do that took time away from your personal life? Bring it on, baby! My side addiction is comments.


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