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Bad dog

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"One of Superman's powers," read the crossword puzzle clue.

"That's too vague," I said. "Superman has, like, every power. That's why they call him Superman." Looking up from the paper, I asked my mother, "What power do you think of when I say 'Superman'?"

She thought about this for a minute then answered, "X-ray vision."

I was surprised. "That's the first power that comes to mind? He's stronger than a locomotive, faster than a bullet, and he can leap tall buildings in a single bound. He can fly. In addition to telescopic and microscopic vision, he also has super senses of hearing, touch, and smell. He has heat vision and cold breath. His brain processes information faster than a computer. He can throw his voice with super-ventriloquism. He has such incredible control of his muscles, he can change his physical appearance at will. He can vibrate through solid objects and travel through time. He can kiss you so hard, you forget stuff. And he is never, ever wrong. Despite all that, the first power that comes to your mind when you think of Superman is his ability to see through stuff?"

Mom nodded. "Yep."

I'll be damned if that wasn't the right answer for the crossword puzzle.

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I had a friend over to the house for an afternoon of gaming yesterday, and I very graciously offered him a Coca-Cola. He poured an entire 12-ounce can into a glass with ice... and then he only drank half of it! He poured half a Coke down my sink! Oh, the humanity!

If that's the game he wants to play, so be it. You'll never sink my battleship now, asshole.

Southern Hospitality only extends so far.

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This is not a joke

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For eight-and-a-half years, I've been warning you about the greatest threat known to man. According to recent news reports, you're finally starting to listen.

"Killer deer terrorizing pets, people in Peachtree City" (11alive.com)

"Attack of the Peachtree City deer without fear" (TheCitizen.com)

"Bully Bambi: Deer targets neighborhood dogs, one dead" (CBS46.com)

That's right: They're here! They're deer! Get used to it!

According to the reports, deer have been terrorizing dogs in Peachtree City, a community of golf carts and more golf carts. Full disclosure: I lived in Peachtree City for about half a year in 1988. It was not a happy time, but that doesn't mean that I wish deer on them. I wouldn't wish deer on anyone.

Why would the deer attack dogs? Obviously because dogs are man's best friends. Those bastards!

"So what?" say the Cat People. "Deer on dog violence is not our problem." You bastards! Deer on dog violence is everyone's problem! Once they're done with the dogs, do you think they'll just go away? No! First dogs, then cats, then I-don't-know-what, but it won't be good!

Act now! Teach your dog to attack deer on sight. Your life (and theirs) might depend on it.

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To help promote my books, I want to add some brief reviews to CentralKingdomsChronicles.com. To do that, I need some reviews.

If anyone reading this has also read any of my books and enjoyed them, please use the contact form to write me a sentence or two.

Alternately, you can also leave a review on Amazon.com. Every little bit helps.

The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 1, The Wizards of Ranaloy The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 2, Prince Thorgils' War The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 3, A Quest Before Dying The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 4, Specter of the Lich

Thanks for your support.

Update: Central Kingdoms Chronicles now likable on Facebook!

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On the afternoon of Wednesday, May 16, lightning struck a tree behind our house. Though the strike was indirect and didn't hit our power lines, several electronic components were still damaged. It killed our Tivo, broke our TV's HDMI processor, and, most importantly for the purpose of this blog post, fried my elliptical.

The elliptical console would no longer power on. A quick test with a lamp proved that the power outlet still worked. My trusty voltage detector told me that the elliptical power supply was still functioning, but the console just would not respond. So I did what anyone would do: I bought a new console.

That was easier said than done. My Schwinn 430 is a discontinued model, so parts aren't exactly easy to find. I did eventually find a retailer online with a new console in stock, and the part arrived a week later. Only it wasn't exactly identical to mine — meaning it was an updated redesign used by more modern models. It also didn't work.

To be clear, the power supply doesn't plug directly into the console. It plugs into a round hole at the base of the elliptical, and power is passed through a sensor array and then transfers to the console motherboard via a 8-pin connector cable. Therefore, I couldn't tell if the problem was that the new console was incompatible or some other problem.

At this point did I do what I should have done earlier and tested the cables inside the elliptical's sealed wheel shroud. That required quite a bit of deconstruction. I took apart the arms and the treads and the mast only to be stymied by the crank arms. To remove the crank arms required a crank puller, a bicycle tool. I didn't have a crank puller. So to continue my disassembly, I had to order one of those. While I was at it, I decided to order a new power supply from the same source to save on shipping.

The crank arrived in three days, and it was perfect for the job. But before I took the cranks off, I decided to test the power supply. Surprise, surprise, plugging that into the system made made it all work again! Both the old and new consoles worked fine.

The replacement console cost me $240. The crank puller was $12, and the new power supply was $10. I spent far more than was necessary when it was the cheapest part that needed replacing. The worst part is that I'm sure I didn't learn anything from the entire experience.

Epilogue to this story is that when I finally got everything put back together and working again and started my first workout in nearly a month, the power to the house went out. If there is a God, he's got a sick sense of humor.

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This is what I spent my May building: new stairs for the front porch!

Eight days a week

Not bad for someone whose best tool is a keyboard, if I do say so myself.

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Today was the Georgia Democrat/Republican primary election for state offices. On the flip side of that ballot were nonpartisan local elections. I didn't vote in any of them.

That wasn't a decision I made casually. I took my time and looked into the candidates. What I found was that my opinion of each of them didn't much matter. I'll take either Democratic candidate for Governor over any of the pro-NRA Republican options, so I'll let those who pay party dues pick the candidates I'll be voting for and against in November. Same goes for all the other statewide positions.

Of the few local races with incumbents not running unopposed, most are school board positions. I don't have children, and I'm not in school. If I did have a child, I wouldn't want disinterested parties like me butting into an election I had no stake in, so I'll do parents a favor and keep my biases to myself.

Therefore, if you don't mind, Georgia, I'll save my vote for later and vote twice in the general election. Thanks.

Just say no

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I woke up the other day with an idea that I planned to post here on the blog. Not your typical run-of the mill post, either, but a genuine brain tickler, the sort of Poor Richard bon mot that made Ben Franklin a household name.

Naturally, before I could commit that idea to digital paper, it escaped my head. Memory, they say, is the somethingth thing to go.

So all you get now is this lousy placeholder post. Sorry.

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To be continued...

 

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