Justice for Karley

If you haven’t already heard about this, please take a few minutes to read and take action.

Karley, a six month old puppy was so savagely beaten by a neighbor of her owners that she had to be euthanized. Who was this monster who tortured a puppy? Some crack addict? Some crazy loner? No, Karley’s killer is Assistant Fire Chief to the L. A. County Fire Department. His name is Glynn Johnson.

What has been done? Nothing. Zip. The fire department has put him on paid leave, the equivalent of a time out with pay. The Riverside Sheriff’s Dept. has brought no charges against him. Johnson himself has pretty much gone to ground, though he has stated that he did it in self-defense.

Right. A full-grown man and a puppy. A puppy he took from a neighbor who was returning the dog to her home. Just took her and started beating her. Beat her almost to death. The neighbor has said that there was no threatening behavior by Karley, just Johnson beating her.

I don’t pretend to understand why he did it or how anyone could treat a living creature like that. What I do know is that Karley deserves some justice. If you want to help keep this story alive until Johnson is brought to justice, please go to the Best Friends site and take action.


It’s Cheating a Bit

But I’m including my old bits of the Gekko material as I go through them. I will use much of what’s here, so I figure it’s fair to add them to my word count. Which:

25056 / 50000 words. 50% done!

The approximately 8000 words I just added are all history, and is already undergoing major rewrites to help me with my background work. The story, “Basilisk” is just NOT coming out the way I need it to, and though I’ll continue to work on it, it’s going to have to be massively re-written after the month is over.

Doctor’s office phoned to let me know that my A1c is up from 6.something to 7.5. That’s not good, but it’s also not a huge surprise considering how lax I’ve been in the last few months, and how much weight I regained after quitting the Effexor. Cholesterol not great, though the HDL is good. BP is slightly elevated by by any standard, though more under theirs (of course) than by the old standard I used to know.

What I do know already is that I’ll take the lisinopril for the BP, the new Happy Pill, and of course the Metformin for the diabetes. But no way no how on insulin or statins. Not gonna happen.

I have discovered that a short walk when I’m blocked really does help a bit. I sort of figure that if I do it every day, I’ll be much better by the time I see her again in December. Now to do it every day.

Life just sucks as you get older.

In spite of

Or perhaps because of this headache, I have managed to pull things together to the point where I’m over the necessary total for tomorrow, and am going to knock off for the night. Today’s cumulative total:

11855 / 50000 words. 24% done!

One quarter of the way through the 50000 word goal. Amazing in the sense that I am not writing fanfic, which has always come more easily to me than original fiction. Yes, much of the groundwork was laid a long time ago, and that helps, but this is very gratifying in a way that goes far beyond the rush I got from writing fanfic. This is all me.

Tomorrow, I’ve invited a bunch of people to come by and have a glass of champagne in honor of President-elect Obama. Some of them won’t show, but enough will that I need to clean up around here a bit. If I have a headache again tomorrow, I’ll be sending my head out for some kind of tune-up.

Last word on NaNo for today

I made it. I wrote virtually nothing yesterday because I spent all day fighting with Firefox. Because I never get rid of anything, I had an old version on my backup drive, so I uninstalled the most recent build and went back to 3.0. Of course I lost all my bookmarks and settings and cookies and all the rest because 3.0.3 wouldn’t uninstall properly. It kept on freezing up and forcing me to start over again. Do yourself a favor and don’t install that build unless you can downgrade in case it screws you the way it did me.

Yeah, I have a lot of trouble with new versions of Firefox. But honestly, I’d seen the notification for this one for a few weeks now, and honestly thought it’d be okay to install, that all the upgrades to the add-ons would be done or nearly done, and I’d at least have some reasonable functionality. Boy did I guess wrong. I don’t know what the problem is but it cost me the better part of a work day.

So now I’m just a bit past caught up, which I find annoying since I should’ve been a day ahead of schedule. But I’m quitting for the night. I have so much to do around here that some of it has to get done before I hit the sheets. And tomorrow, I have to do laundry first thing since it’s been two weeks since I washed anything.

Today’s graphic word count:

8458 / 50000 words. 17% done!

The story is winding down, and I’m going to have to start sketching out the next one so I can swing right into it when I put paid to the first draft of this one.

Night all.

Hello, have you seen my head?

I am so scattered today. Part of this is surely the effect of having been up until three this morning, watching the returns and weeping with happiness (And drinking. Don’t forget the drinking of wine.) Part, well it’s just one of those days when accomplishing anything is a lot like slogging through mud. I’ve been working in the office since noon or so, and while I did manage to get about 1400 words written for NaNoWriMo, it shouldn’t have taken me that long. But I kept on checking email, and walking over to the other side of the room to make some half-hearted attempt at getting my yarn stash put away in some sort of reasonable order. I have a stack of boxes from Ikea but they’re miserable to put together, and they don’t fit the cabinet in which I was planning to use them.

Caddy has been demanding a lot of attention, too, which is fine once in a while, but not every few minutes and just as I hit my writing stride. Little fiend. He’s lucky I adore him so much.

I finished the last two slices of last night’s pizza for breakfast and since then have eaten nothing except a Mounds bar. This is Not Good. I have to make some supper. Tonight’s political programs should be really interesting.

The great American experiment endures

To be blunt, I thought we might see the end of it in our lifetime. Democracy can only work with an engaged electorate, and people who care more about a unified country than partisanship.

But now we may find our way back to a government of the people, by the people and for the people as our founding fathers envisioned. Today we pushed past the artificial barrier of color to reaffirm that our country truly is a meritocracy, a place where any child can grow up knowing that he (or she) can be anything he wants to be.

It’s going to be a terribly hard road, not just for the new President and his people, but for all of us. But we’ve dug ourselves out of deeper holes than this and we can do it again. Now I’m certain we can.

I have hope again.

Witness to History

A day like today makes me think about my life. I’ve lived for 56 years and seen a man walk on the moon. I saw mankind shake off the bonds of this planet to go into space! When I was nine, the Berlin wall went up and when I was thirty-seven it fell. I saw the end of the Soviet Union, and, by the will of the people, the Vietnam war. I lived through the assassination of one President and the resignation of another. I’ve seen more map changes than you can imagine with the rise and fall of countries which names you may not even know.

I saw segregation in the south, and I saw it end. I remember Stonewall and Woodstock. I’ve seen the administrations of nine Presidents from Eisenhower to Bush II. Hell, I remember the first Mayor Daley and the LSD s-curve!

I remember the last time a huge political event happened in Grant Park. It was 1968, and it wasn’t a happy day.

This is a happy day. I’m hoping for victory, of course. I’d be insane not to. But whatever happens, I have to tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited by an election or prouder of my country than I am now. I voted early because the time I spent as a caregiver taught me that you can never be certain that you’ll get out to the polls when you intend to, or what might happen when you get there. But I have loved every account of voting I’ve read today and over the last couple of weeks.

Nobody can force you to vote, nobody can force you to be informed or even to care. My deepest thanks go out to all those who have done all three. No flag, no slogans, no political manuvering can make you more an American than those three things.


More than halfway to tomorrow’s goal, and there are still a number of work hours available to me today. So go me. It’s time for me to stop for a bit, though, because invention is flagging. I need to go do something mindless and leave my brain free to work things out on its own.

Those of you who are also doing NaNoWriMo can add me to your buddies if you wish, and I will happily do the same. My profile page is here The site is still as slow as the seven-year itch, though.

Keeping up with the Wrimos

I can’t seem to get the NaNo site to come up (when does the gridlock stop over there?) so consider this the official word: I’m ending the day at 3758, about 500 words past where I need to be at this time.

Since this year’s novel is a collection of connected short stories about the mythical country of Fata Morgana and its neighbors, my writing units are more clear cut than chapters might be, and so a bit easier to cope with. And I have more titles than I think I can reasonably use, but that might change. The current story is entitled “Anna Magdalena’s Song” but that’s all I’m saying about it. (Those of you who remember minute details about Gekko might recall a postage stamp with the image of one A. M. Gnocci.)

Bottom line: I’m having a heckuva good time this year. I’d forgotten what fun writing can be.


Homemade Democracy

This morning Glinda decided that she was going to make a sign that said “VOTE” because, like me, she feels that an involved electorate is essential to the health of a democracy. For too long now, our electorate hasn’t really been involved. You’d get the lock-step Republicans out voting in all weather, and the demoralized Dems just staying home because they felt there was no possibility of changing anything. And of course that just made it more certain that nothing would change.

This year we both decided, independently of one another, pretty much, to be the change we wanted to see. We want an involved electorate and an informed one. We talk, we donate, we read, we listen, we check facts, we argue, we exhort people to get out and vote no matter who they’re going to vote for. Because the truth is that if a candidate is elected by a majority of the people in this country, then we’ll both be satisfied that the will of the people is being done. Sure we’d be disappointed if Obama lost, but if McCain wins by a vote of 75% or 80% of the American people or — could it happen? — more than that, then the people have spoken and we’re both down with that. Even if the vote is a squeaker, and one man wins by a very, very small margin, it’s still the process that is important.

So I hung out the flag, and Glinda made her sign and hung it in her window. Just now we were outside admiring the effect and I said “Democracy shouldn’t be slick and commercial. It should be homemade.” I believe that. Democracy shouldn’t be dictated by corporations or lobbyists, or insiders. It should be you and me telling these men, whose salaries WE pay, what we want done in this country.

Go make a homemade sign, go call your friends and your grandparents and tell them they have GOT to vote this year. Go fly your flag not because of some crazy notion of it being unpatriotic to not do it, but because you are proud of what it represents. Because you want to. That’s America.