Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Big Novel Finish! ( First draft..that is...)

At slightly over 80,000 words,   (80,319 to be exact)  The book is DONE!  YEAH!    WooHOOO!.   That only took me FOREVER! And now the fun begins....when I have to go back and re-read it to correct all the spelling errors.

Ok,  perhaps spelling errors are not as bad as the butchery of English I so often do.   What can I say?  As an artist, you learn the rules so you can intentionally break them, right?    Well,  why would I want to be ordinary?  Things that are slightly damaged but still functional are much more interesting.'s a happy ending...for now.   Who knows what happens when the editors ( me..) dig out the scissors and start cutting things.   We may reach a whole new Rocky Balboa...

I must say that the task ahead is daunting.   Not only do I not like to read, but I hate being reminded that I almost flunked Writing English in College.   Every time I see a confusing sentence,  the repressed memories of Harold Buss's class and "you begin at a 'C' and work your way down." comes to mind.   However,  I also hate criticism and would hate to be told by an editor (that I pay money to) that, "you begin at a 'C' and work your way down..."

Let's focus on the good.   80,319 words.  237 pages.  5 months of writing...  really?  5 MONTHS?   Good Lord!   Well,  that is all behind me now so  (...yeah!... )

Other than that,  I have discovered a flaw in Medieval Total War...and that is that I can't conquer Europe after all.   Because England never did it.   Apparently the AI  ( Artificial Intelligence)  Keeps you "historically Accurate"   BOOHOO.    That means it is inevitable that England is going to be excommunicated!  I may as well give my lands on Norway back to the French!   Germany has already recaptured their Entwerp back and now I have to face a serous threat from Denmark as well.   Ah the trials of being a Tyrant...
I discovered this when my income went to negative digits after working so hard to keep my economy growing.  I scanned all over trying to figure out why my cash suddenly dried up and I realized that I had an army about to conquer the Holy Roman Empire.

Boom!   Couple of bouts with Plague,  bankruptcy and  random rebel pirates and brigands and my hopes and dreams of world domination are dashed like an ice cream cone on a hot summer sidewalk.

But then!    I receive a mission to attack France....and they have left the gates wide open and unattended.  I march in unopposed and find ...8000 coin in my treasury!   Where did all this cash come from?  
Oh,   and France is not happy about it and is now laying siege to the very city I rightfully stole.  Good thing I know a little bit of history...but it is bad when it repeats itself despite my best efforts.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far.  Today was a long run for Cheryl...10 miles in the wind and mud.   Loads of fun for me on the bike as well.  So now it is "bum time."  Where we eat too much , do too little and try to feel this sense of entitlement.  Cheryl has to go back to work on Tuesday after all...and I have to polish up the book.  ( Polish or polish?  Which one is it?....American readers:  Poland is a Europe!)  Who ever said playing video games was all that bad?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How to Spoon your Wife.

Is it really good to be Honest?
Some people think Cheryl and I get along....well, we don't.  Not all the time,  but sometime,   when the conditions are right.
Like this guy knows.....Ha!
  For example.   Sometimes Cheryl attempts to kill me...with kindness.   This infuriates me... Because I don't want to die just yet.    So,  being a good husband who wants to maintain open communications...I tell her that her attempts at murder are bothersome.   Honesty is something Dr. Phil and every marriage counselor urges....Right?

This is how to effectively spoon someone. 
But sometimes Cheryl does not take my earnest attempt to maintain honesty as a kind gesture.   At times like's time to spoon her.     Sometimes it works.   Other times it takes something stronger.
Hoppy Beer with nontoxic bad food.

Like beer!   This one is Stone Runiation IPA.   It brags to be the hoppiest beer out there. It was good!    Especially with Chocolate covered Strawberries.   See how Cheryl sneaks in her attempts to kill me?

"Healthy" snacks.
Made from "Healthy" Stuff.
Other than that,   Cheryl has been working on Sushi and tea.    She recently discovered Matcha!   An expensive Tea from Japan that you can add to your cooking.   Today she made Matcha Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies.  I should probably add in Organic,  Gluten Free, Vegan, and Green....because the medicinal properties of Matcha are well known and undocumented. 
 In addition to aiding in digestion, lowering blood pressure, aids bodies PH levels, Refreshes body and mind, prevents illness, promotes healthy skin tone, aids weight loss, inhibits carcinogens. lowers cholesterol levels, prevents diabetes, Slows aging process, prevents food poisoning, protects against colds, prevents tooth decay and halitosis.  It pretty much does everything a good placebo should.
The Poison is in the dose.

So, with that in mind,  Cheryl has created Cookies that are dangerous.  For ME...anyway.   I'll end up eating them all and wonder when those secret weightless effects are going to kick in.  Forget about the potential poisoning effects when you overeat something.   Everyone knows that the poison is in the dose.

Naked Sushi?   Or Green Mango?
On the sushi front,   More sushi.   I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Tuna and Avocado...Yum!
The story is wrapping up.   Just over 77,000 words and it is reaching it's conclusion.   It would be cool if I could wrap it up before 80,000 words.  I never thought it would go on for this long,  but ultimately I'm happy with the way it is going.   Hopefully it will not languish in my desk drawer for years to come...only to ultimately be put on my blog as "filler".   We shall see if I can somehow manage to ever get it published.
Entertaining a cat has never been easier

Be sure to change the channel

I have been successful keeping the cat off of my keyboard for brief moments.   Even Hiro requires his TV time.

It pays to have had those history classes.
And that is about all that is going on in our boring lives.    It appears I have not blogged in a while..and this is the result....a made up story with mismatched pictures.   Ah well,   What else is there to do..... other than conquer Europe in Medieval  II Total War.   I'm England...Kicking the Crap out of France and Germany with my Longbowmen.

Ah!  Isn't it beautiful? 
HA!    Take that you Crepes and Krauts!   I guess Henry the VIII was not a very nice guy.  However,  the French and Germans keep picking fights with me and I am forced to hit back.   It is the only Chivalrous thing to do, after all.   Currently, the Pope ( Pope Spineless II of the hugs and kisses order)   is telling me to "play nice" with my Fellow Christians.....Boo Hoo.
Keep the Messages.  And SPOON!

I should also mention that Cheryl appears to be getting better.  Now that she can run again,  life seems to be back on the up-tick.   Perhaps I will be able to write about future races  in the near....future.  I'd like to think I help her with my awesome messages and spooning.   She insists it MORE SPOON!

Hope everyone is having fun this week.   Hopefully I'll have great tidings of great Joy that I have completed the initial draft of the Novel.   Then I can Shamelessly promote it on my blog forever.... Yeah.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy 200,000 Miles, Subaru!

Welcome to the MASTERS! Subie!
Today,  Subie turned 200 K!   I have been watching the Odometer for a while and it has finally arrived!  WHOOHOOO! Time to Celebrate!

Yeah!  It's kinda like that...
Silver Subie is just plain Awesome!    If you have never drove a should before you die.   It is as close to riding on Angel's wings as you can get without either dying or being under the influence of really bad drugs.   I know Subarues might seem expensive,  but think about all the therapy you can avoid if you buy one.

So to celebrate,   We are having Sushi...again.   But with Sake'!   We bought some fancy Tuna for this one.  AND Cheryl's favorite organic Saki' from Japan...( Based out of California)   Because Subie is worth it!

Cheryl had been preparing for this moment ever since she discovered the badges online free from Subaru.  Luckily,  I got all of my begging paid off and I was allowed to put them on under her close supervision.

You may notice that there is a 2nd next to the badges.   Unfortunately,  she forgot that we have now gone through 3 other Subies before Silver Bullet Subie here.    Shall I name them?

Misty Dawn Subie  ( 300,000= MILES BABY!)  2 wheel drive...but a stick! ( Manual transmission)   Talk about Fun to Drive!

Hello Kitty Subie, ( Cheryl's automatic version of misty dawn)    This one was the "all wheel drive twin" to mine.   it was also one year younger.   We had to cover a little rust with a Hello Kitty head.   And Cheryl bought "accessories"  for the interior.   Not really a man's Subaru...but still fun to drive.
Misty Dawn Subie....300K!

Old Blue!   Remember him?
Old Blue.  I think everyone in the Miner family drove that guy.   He was the last one before Silver Subie.   All of them had over 200,000 miles on them.   Although Misty Dawn was the only one who made it past 300,000 miles with us.

So Subie is now officially in the "Master Class" of Subarues.  (Spell Check is no help when it comes to the plural of Subaru.  Subarus?   Subaru's?  I'll stick to Subies.)    Hopefully he will last a very long time with us.

Other than that,  Cheryl scores, runs and prepares sushi.   She has become pretty good at it, so now store bought sushi no longer appeals to me.  The only important change we are making today is the addition of Sake'.   Sake' is the best with Sushi...but probably not the best with scoring.

I'm over 70,000 words now.   I managed to write 1200 words today.   Any day over 1000 is a good  today is pretty good.  Hope everyone else is having a great week so far.   Tomorrow is Friday....which means Anime for me and Ice cream for Cheryl.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Alchemy in the Kitchen.

So it came to me a couple of days ago,   I have not done a blog posting about Tapioca Pudding lately.  I know, I know.   How is that even possible?  I mean,  everyone wants to write and read about Tapioca, right?   Just,  Out of the Blue....Tapioca. 

Milk, egg, tapioca..Bring to boil
When I think back to the last time I enjoyed Tapioca Pudding,  it was at my Dad's.   I went up on a Thursday for a visit, and he had Tapioca pudding. 
Milk thickens, tapioca translucent
Now add nutmeg and vanilla
Now,  that may not sound very strange...unless you knew my father.   Any sweet dessert or pudding dish seemed  WAY out of his realm in the cooking department.   So you can imagine my surprise ( And SHOCK!)  when he offered me this stuff.    AND..( Drum Roll....)     It did not suck!    I should say, it was delicious,  but then  it would make it seem less home made.    Let's just say I ate three bowls of the stuff  and that was NOT because I was trying to be nice.  

20 minute on low heat...transfer
Let cool...or not.
With Mom gone,   Dad must have discovered some left over Tapioca in the cupboard ( Possibly there for years!)  and decided to take a stab at making  it.   And when it turned out,  I was certainly impressed.    So...with that irrelevant background information...I found some Small Pearl Tapioca in one of the many Asian Stores around here...and decided to give it a go.  I mean...If even my Old Man can do it....Why can't I?

Be sure to Quality Control...
Surprisingly ( or not surprisingly)   it is fairly simple.   So simple even dear old Dad could have done it ( and DID!)   2.5 cups of whole milk,   one egg,   some Tapioca ( about 3 Tbsp...or more if you like)  and sugar to taste...( Or more if you like)   Add some vanilla and nutmeg  ( to taste)  And it is done in 10 minutes!   It kind of took the mystique out of Dad's accomplishment.  Like when a magician reveals his secret...  All you are really doing is thickening up the milk and stiring it so the flavors blend.  Easy!

A Better cook?   Is it the Hat?
So...the first batch for me... was bad.   Yep!....I could not do something this simple...A trained monkey with a spoon  ( or an old man with ancient tapioca) could do this...but I,  with two college degrees....failure!   I did not reduce the milk enough the first time.   ( Following the YouTube and recipe tips to the LETTER!   Those Idiots!)  Thanks for making me look bad....
Add Cheryl's Raspberries for Extra Sweetness

 Couple of things to note.   Add egg, tapioca and milk....let stand 5 Minutes!     Second step...Bring to Boil...then REDUCE heat...but do not remove it.  Third tip:   Even though they say it can be removed from heat and is ready in five-10 minutes.   I had the best luck cooking it over low heat for the entire 20 minutes instead of simply allowing it to cool.   Basically, I waited until I visually saw the thickness I desired. 

Are you kidding? 
Ok...I see the resemblance..a little
Doesn't matter! Right?  As long as it's Edible.    I'm the only one who eats it after all.   Cheryl says it reminds her of fish eyes.   Really?   At least be accurate with your comparison.    I would prefer to think of them as Frog Eggs in Crème brûlée sauce.   That sounds WAY more appetizing.  

Created from the cassava root,  Pure starch
If you have never tried Tapioca Pudding....It's good.   Trust me.    Don't let Cheryl and her Phobias of unknown puddings  influence you.   The tapioca becomes translucent and softens to a chewy texture while the milk, egg and nutmeg give the Crème brûlée     ( or custard...but Crème brûlée sounds so much cooler...)  flavor everyone loves.   It's good stuff!   And I will end up eating it all by myself... 

Large Pearl Tapioca
Other than that,  I'm approaching 70,000  words.   The book seems to be wrapping up now as I struggle to continue the 1,000 words a day standard.  I actually wrote almost 2,000 yesterday.     But It averaged out with only 600 today.   Kind of disappointing....Ah well.   At least I find time to blog a little.   

Hope everyone is having a great week so far.    The weather  is threatening to pour on us for the next several days,  but it held off this morning.   Good conditions for running.  And biking!  Because eating an entire batch of Tapioca myself Requires I work a little bit harder. 


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