Saturday, November 29, 2008

A free "novel"

Oya's Wake is a "novel" I wrote to keep myself occupied after a car wreck in 2000 kept me out of work for a few weeks. Oya's Wake is about a straight-laced young accountant who gets mixed up in a teenage girl's murder and winds up taking refuge on a rebellious Cuban-American prostitute's sailboat.

You can get the e-book from Amazon here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Isn't it ironic? Don'tcha think? A little tooooo ironic

Does anyone else find it ironic that the entity to which all these failing companies are turning is more than $10 trillion in debt?

Just curious.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Attn: Christmas-loving Parrotheads

This info comes courtesy of fellow Parrothead Pat Mitchell of Columbus:

Peter Mayer, guitarist/singer/songwriter for Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band since the very late 1980s, will be performing a Christmas concert Dec. 18 at North Highland Church in Columbus ... you know, the one with that massive prayer tower.

Mayer, whose brother Jim also is a Coral Reefer, does a good bit of Christian music in addition to folk and rock. His song "Suzannah" off the 1996 album "Green-Eyed Radio" is one of my all-time favorite tunes. His Peter Mayer Band had a hit with "Piece of Paradise" in the late ’80s, too.

The show, which is sponsored by Columbus Hospice, will, of course, feature a love offering, and Columbus Hospice is a very worthy cause indeed. I'm not exactly sure what my plans are for that night, and organized religion ain't exactly my cup of tea. But it would be interesting to see Peter Mayer perform in a setting quite different from the drunken debauchery of a Jimmy Buffett concert.

For bios, discography, tour schedule and to sample pretty much every song he's ever recorded, check out Peter Mayer's Web site here. His music is light and sometimes folksy or spiritual, so if you're expecting Parrothead-type music, you'll be disappointed. Although, many of the apparently close-knit Coral Reefers show up on each other's albums so there may be some familiarity.

Just park it

On Thursday, I watched somebody spend over a minute trying to park their giant, gas-guzzling truck into a space at the parking garage while at least three other cars, including mine, were blocked from continuing on their way to another level where we parked like normal people. And just now, I watched a guy struggle to maneuver his vehicle backward into a parking space at the gym. His was the only car in that entire side of the parking lot. It was surrounding by at least 24 empty parking spaces. Getting out was not going to be complicated.

I'm convinced that people who spend all this time parking backward so they can get out easier later actually spend more time doing that than the people who park normally and back out later. Pulling through to an empty space at the mall so you can exit easier is one thing. But, seriously people, backing out of a parking space is not exactly rocket science. And it's a lot easier and less time-consuming than backing into one.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Han Shot First

Like a lot of folks of my advanced age, I grew up watching "Star Wars" movies and collecting the action figures (they're ACTION FIGURES, not dolls!) and playing with my Death Star and Land Speeder toys. But I'm not a "Star Wars" fanatic (with apologies to Cody back home), nor was I ever a Trekkie, referring to fans of that TV series where people explored outer space in their jammies.

Because I wasn't quite deep enough into the series, I never knew what the shirts "Han Shot First" meant in nerd world. And I dared not ask the few people who I knew would know out of fear it would turn into a very long discussion and not a simple explanation. Fortunately, my friend and co-worker Sonya Sorich, succinctly explained it to me briefly yesterday as I designed a newspaper page with her column about NerdaCon, which comes to Columbus State University on Friday and Saturday. I won't be there. If you've ever wondered what "Han Shot First" is referring to, here's a summary of the great controversy.

Monday, November 17, 2008

When good nerds go bad

There's absolutely no way I can explain this story. It seems lurid ... involving affairs, prostitutes and such. But it's a virtual thing. Something called the "Second Life." It's where you live out a simulated life online with online friends, wives, and apparently prostitutes, too. Sorta. Kinda. Oh, heck, I don't know. I don't get it. Click here and see if you can figure out what may or may not be happening.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Spent Friday night watching the Brookstone-Schley County game in Ellaville and then kept heading east to my hometown of Oglethorpe to hear gifted guitarist Lance Price, pictured at right, play an impromptu gig in his parents' backyard. Lance is a popular solo act in metro Atlanta and does a good bit of shows on the road, too. He actually got to perform during the Ryder Cup, too. Hmm, the reasons to hate Lance are piling up. Not only can he play guitar 100 times better than I can dream of doing, but he gets to go to all these cool places. You can check out Lance's Web site by clicking here.

Also pictured and helping this night turn into a good ol' Macon County pick-n-grin are, from left, Jeff Kelley and Jason McKinney. Jason's the lead singer for Gravel Road, a good down-home band you can learn more about here. The first time I caught them was in an abandoned chicken house with a couple hundred folks. They've come a long way since then.

It's fun to hang out with guitarists who can run the gamut of songs from goofy to good. Along with such songs as "Message in a Bottle" "Layla" and "More Than Words," they were able to mix in two Britney Spears songs for fun ("Hit Me Baby One More Time" and "Toxic") and even the song. You know the one:

They say a man should always dress for the job he wants so why i am i dressed like a pirate in this restaurant its all because some hacker stole my identity so im here every evening serving chowder and iced tea should have gone to free credit i could have seen this coming at me like an atom bomb they monitor ur credit and send u email alerts so u dont end up serving fish to tourists in t-shirts

Now that's range. That and bumping into old and new friends made for a fun night.

It's Christmas!

While scanning the presets on my truck's radio yesterday, I was surprised to learn it's Christmas. Well, it is on 95.7 FM anyway. I don't mind this so much on Sunny 100. After all, how many times can you stand to hear Sara Bareilles' "Love Song" being run into the ground? But 95.7 plays a lot of 80s retro stuff, or as you younger folks would call them, oldies. I don't feel old enough to call them that. I'll miss that station because it's going off my presets until January.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election thoughts

I don't think anyone could have watched the clinching moments of the presidential election and not be a little emotional about the historical significance of Obama and his family going into the White House. Until last night, the cultural impact of this was of no concern to me. I was focused on the economic issues. But it was a little overwhelming last night when the impact hit me like a ton of bricks. Definitely a great moment to witness.

A not-so-great moment was going to a couple precincts like many others from the newspaper to collect voting results as soon as possible from local races. As they posted the numbers, I combed through the write-ins and saw that in various races God, Pee-Wee Herman, Kobe Bryant, Method Man, Jay-Z and the usual Mickey Mouse got their votes and my personal favorite write-in of the night, Don. Don who? I dunno.

That's a lot funnier in a special election no one cares about and draws 10 percent of voters. But in a historical election where people come out in droves and wait in long lines to cast serious ballots, it's pretty insensitive to add to the wait with selfishness and immaturity.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote today

If you can't seem to squeeze a trip to the polls into your work schedule today, take this to work with you.

Georgia law:

21-2-404. Affording employees time off to vote

Each employee in this state shall, upon reasonable notice to his or her employer, be permitted by his or her employer to take any necessary time off from his or her employment to vote in any municipal, county, state, or federal political party primary or election for which such employee is qualified and registered to vote on the day on which such primary or election is held; provided, however, that such necessary time off shall not exceed two hours; and provided, further, that, if the hours of work of such employee commence at least two hours after the opening of the polls or end at least two hours prior to the closing of the polls, then the time off for voting as provided for in this Code section shall not be available. The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may absent himself or herself as provided in this Code section.

Quite simply, this means that with the polls being open 7 a.m.-7 p.m., you don't get 2 hours off from work if you have a 9-5 shift. However, if you're on a 7-7 or 8:30-5:30 or something like that, they do have to give you time to vote. It's not just the right thing to do. It's the law.

Don't let this election pass you by. It's a big one. If you don't think so, just watch the reaction of Wall Street in the next week and a half.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sarah Palin as Sarah Palin

Wow. Just came across this. I thought Tina Fey did a funnier Sarah Palin. But I've changed my mind. This proves Sarah Palin makes a funnier Sarah Palin. She got punk'd by a Canadian comedian on this prank call. Check it out:

Another great 'SNL' skit

Once again, John McCain shows the candidate he could have been (positive) and Tina Fey shows she's an even better Palin than Sarah. What's "Saturday Night Live" gonna do when the election's over Tuesday?

Click here to see John McCain's appearance on "SNL" Saturday.