Monthly Archives: July 2017

A Forced Day of Rest

Not much to report as I got the migraine spot early and that ruined the rest of the day. At least until it got better.

Everyone was out and about doing various things when I got the migraine aura and took some medicine. I suspect it’s because the unseasonably cool weather has been messing with my head (or I need to get up and about some more).

Either way, taking medicine led to me being sleepy the rest of the afternoon which led to me accomplishing  very little.

Eventually, though, I got better and we enjoyed our youngest’s birthday.

More on that in a future post.

No Good Sale Goes Unpunished

I’ve been in this odd cycle of watching American Pickers and selling pens. I’m not sure how the two are connected, but since they both involve people selling bits of their collections, one may be serving as inspiration for the other.

I bring this up only because I’ve now sold my seventh pen. This is both good and bad.

It’s good because the most valuable pens sold at good prices but it’s bad because I’m left with the secondary set of pens. They are nice, but less desirable to others and will cause me more effort to part with. Also, because some of them are cheap whilst shipping is expensive (Japan post eliminated it’s cheapest fast option some time ago) I have to convince people to buy more than one pen at a time.

The other problem is that the ones I sold were the ones I wouldn’t have minded getting stuck with. The others, with a couple exceptions, are not ones I’m interested in using again.

I suspect this means there will be a big bundle offered in the future.

The goal of all this is to pare down the collection to ten pens that I use, in some form or another regularly. (Note: Those of you who think ten pens is outrageous should realize that to serious addicts ten pens counts as a collection starter kit, not an actual collection.)

I’m also approaching the point where the pens I have inked are pens I like a lot. Storing any will make it harder to buy new pens as I’ve been sticking, or at least attempting to stick to a one in/one out rule.

Then again, that may be a good thing. Maybe.

Randomly, Without Feeling

We were apparently attacked by a North Korean missile tonight but we are apparently okay.

That pretty much explains today. Lots of little things happened, but none of them were particularly good or bad, although they could have been.

I reached the end of my first week of work/house arrest and the entire notion of it has me feeling glum. I’m feeling this way even though I actually did extra work to get ready for next week’s house arrest/work and felt reasonably pleased by what I’d done. As I’ve said before, it’s not that I have to do work during the summer that bothers me, it’s that I lost free summers without any compensation and that any attempts to get any leniency have all run into the same professional BS artist.

(Note: Facebook and/or Twitter apparently blocked a previous post where I used the adult version of that phrase to describe the person so many of you may not know who I’m talking about as it never reached my Facebook stream.)

I also worked on the writing project I’ve mentioned before, but in that case I’m butting heads with all kinds of writing that seemed like a good idea at the time. I killed so many darling today that I spent more time slashing and less time transcribing. That was followed by the second guessing.

It’s now the weekend and I get to enjoy three days of actual vacation before house arrests starts up again.

Glorious Cool

Nature gave us a bit of mercy today in the form of unseasonably cool weather.

This meant that even such tasks as running to the bank and paying taxes were actually kind of pleasant because it was possible to walk more than several meters outside with out becoming soaked in sweat.

Not only did we not need the air conditioner (at least as long as the pleasant breeze continued) we barely needed a fan.

I dragged our youngest to town so that I could take money from one account and then walk across the street to deposit the money in a different account. After that we had an early lunch and then our youngest went to swimming class. (Note: this means she probably didn’t enjoy the cool weather as much as I was.)

All in all, this meant everyone had pleasant moods today. I don’t know what the forecast is for tomorrow,

It will probably be warmer, but hopefully not much less merciful.

Follow Up, With Attitude

(Note: I’m feeling salty. So what?)

He has a good memory about what I said. About what he said, well not so much.

I’ve mentioned before how the company I work for tried to assign me, well, I believe the technical term is “shit work” during the summer.

I didn’t, however, report the follow up.

The day after I wrote about that situation on this bit of blather, I got the phone call I was expecting from the company I work for’s designated bullshitter. He’s supposedly a former Marine security forces bullshitter and as such is trained in talking down angry people. (Note: I don’t consider him an honorable person therefore “former Marine.”)

His technique is to remind you of what you said, interrupt your attempts to vent even if it will make you feel better, and then conveniently forget everything he’s said when you attempt to remind him of it. In fact, when you attempt to remind him of what he said, he interrupts you in order to remind you of what you said.

The problem is, there is no way to get past him. He acts as a kind of secondary firewall to keep upper level management from having to deal with the actual product that is being sold. (Yes, I have accepted that I am a product.) There is a firewall level in front of him but they don’t bullshit as well as he does and he eventually gets involved.

Oddly, he’s almost single-handedly responsible for losing the company three positions at the school where I work but he keeps his job. People feel unsupported and leave for greener pastures. In my case, it will be extremely difficult to find a greener pasture. Therefore, If you know of any jobs in the USA involving teaching or writing, please let me know.

In a final twist, those three lost positions are all filled by people who used to work for the company I work for, which says a lot about the company I work for.


The Things We Avoid

I have a project I swear I’m going to get to.

I’ve thought about it quite a bit.

I’ve done  a lot of research on it.

I’ve even scribbled some notes about it.

Then I sit down to do it and just stare at the page. (Note: I still do a lot of stuff long hand because, well, I’ll get to that.)

If I don’t stare at the page, I stare at the front of the notebook. Then I open it, grab a pen, write something, usually related, sometimes not, then look for something else to do.

What I like about these daily bits of blather on this blog is that, with a few exceptions, they are safe. At 1250 posts (this is 1251) they are safe. Some are honest, some are interesting, some are meaningless enough that they don’t even qualify as blather. They are Mere Filler, or something like that.

I have a lot of material and have been assembling it into something resembling a book, but that’s where I start staring at notebooks and blank pages.

In my case, that deep fear we all feel about certain things we know we could do manifests as laziness and distraction. I’ll get to it later, after I play a bunch of games and then research a topic that might be useful in the future. For something.

All writers, actually, everyone who attempts a new hobby or project reaches that point where things stop being easy. Where beginner’s luck gives way to a novice’s failures.

There are several topics that I listed when I began this bit of blather that I’ve been avoiding. I thought I was just putting off interesting stuff, but I realize I’ve been avoiding them.

I think I’l put them in the book. But first there are other things I think I might do.

Sell and Wait and Sell

It seems, the last couple nights, as if I’m always closing but not actually getting close.

Last night I had bites on a couple pens I’ve been trying to sell and I stayed up late answering questions. In one case, the deal is done pending payment, and I’ve even managed to upsell a couple things (pending payment).

With the other, things seemed to finish quickly after I lowered the price slightly, but once we got to the payment part, communications ceased and payment has not been made. (Note: nothing ships until I’ve been payed.)

Now I’m probably going to have to stay up late and see if I have more questions to answer or a box to pack.

If I don’t hear soon, I’ll have to declare it’s still available and see what happens. Oddly, I know at least one person who will not be happy if the pen becomes available because they are interested in it and have been hoping it sells to someone else.

Not Many Excuses to Go

A number of factors have combined to keep me locked up in the apartment: heat, humidity, and an age related general lack of interest in going outside unless I have a particularly good reason to do so.

The latter has caused me to cancel planned outings even during nice weather. The typical process involves a couple days of making plans and more plans but  then the day of the plan arrives and my brain starts rationalizing staying in by second guessing the necessity of following the plan. My brain is suddenly concerned about spending and spent energy and all the bad and annoying things that can happen during the outing.

If it is hot and humid, or there’s a strong chance of rain, the process happens much faster.

In the end, I usually end up staying home.

This makes life kind of relaxing as well a whole lot cheaper. I just doesn’t give me much to write about.


Enjoying Whatever Day it is

It’s early in the holiday and I’m already not sure what day it is.

This is something that usually happens toward the end of the holiday when I’ve run out of things to do or we’ve just come back from visiting the in-laws.

This time, though, I think that because I’ve already established a routine of babysitting, work and time wasting the days are already starting to seem the same.

(Note: the “time wasting” is actually the “work” I’m forced to do even though no one actually seems to check it).

To break this up, I’ve planned a few outings with out youngest. The problem is, she also has a few activities planned that are related to school. (Note Deux: As I’ve written before, the Japanese educational system does not understand the concept of “vacation”.)

This means that the extra planning serves to break up the usual routine. It’s not very helpful, I suppose, but it is something different.

Revisionist Curses

Progress is slow.

Thus far I’ve kept up my daily goal of typing my old manuscript for at least one hour every day. However, after an hour, I often find I’ve only added a page or two to the typescript. The problem is that not only do I have to translate my handwriting, I’m also revising on the fly.

In a couple cases I’ve revised a section only to find a second, better version of it already in the manuscript. This happens because as the original brain dump happens I just let words flow and that means I’ll write something and then write it again. Usually when I do the initial read through I find such sections and cross out the bad ones or cut and paste the better ones.

However, today I hit two sections that I’d apparently skipped over during the initial read through. After uttering some bad words and generic curses, I had to un-revise and then re-revise the sections and although I’m reasonably pleased with them, I still have a lot of things to type.

I’ve thought about hiring someone to transcribe everything for me, the trouble is that after a few hours with my handwriting they’d be cursing me as they slowly drifted into madness.

I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.