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Thursday, February 28, 2013

The End Is Near!

Well, the end of my time at my old place, anyway.

Woke up and did final packing and triage today.  99% of everything is now in my rolling duffel bag, only bit and bobs out along with the i5 laptop.  Tonight it's bag the laptop after calling the cab, wait out front.. and I'm done!

I've been debating bringing the i5 system into the office and keeping it here until I find a more permanent place and taking the Asus box into the residence inn.  It has all my writing software and the screen is the same size as the i5, so it'd be perfect for focusing on FINISHING SOMETHING DARN IT!  No music software, no 3D software, no 2D software.. just music and writing, and sometimes chat.  It seems like a good idea, at least for now, so Monday I'll bring in the i5 and take home the Asus box.  The other upside: if someone steals it, it's less of a "cry myself to bits" loss than the i5!

Foot is no better or worse.  I'll probably get a lecture from the doc about running around on it at all, but I'm used to just shrugging and saying "Sorry, I need to get paid so you get paid" and that seems to shut 'em up.

Not sleeping well lately, I guess between the foot, the moving stress, and 10,000 little things it's making a mess of my sleep cycle.  Feh.

Back to work for me!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ugh, ANOTHER foot injury!

You read it  right - I managed to injure my left foot again.

Long story short, I slipped getting off the bus on Saturday as I was out shipping packages.  No skin breaks or obvious external trauma, so I figured.. no big deal, I'll just go home when I'm done.. and continued to run around on it.

Sunday morning at 4:00 AM I awaken to a massively swollen left foot.  Panic ensues, and when it doesn't immediately shrink in cold water it's off to the emergency room.  Doc thinks it's an infection and sticks an antibiotic IV in me, takes x-ways, and preps to check me in to the hospital.  Well, turns out it's no infection, but a compound fracture in my left foot behind the big toe!  Apparently I managed to wack it hard enough to break it when I slipped.  The same osteopath that did the amputation comes in, says it'll need surgery once the swelling reduces, they stick me in a medical full-calf boot and send me home until Friday, when I go see the osteopath again.  I hope we can schedule surgery either for Saturday so I can recuperate over the weekend, or next Thursday.. I can't afford to miss too many days or there's going to be some scrambling for rent money.

This is some seriously bad timing.  I *have* to move tomorrow, all the pieces are in place and there's no way I can stay in my old place past Friday morning.  The residence inn is expecting me tomorrow between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM, so that's a done deal.  Not only that, I have to make it to the bank tomorrow morning to get money to go put on the prepaid credit card before I come into work.  Argh!

The only good news this week is that my paycheck was a bit larger than my estimate, so I can put more on the prepaid card.  That, and it turns out that there's a convenience store AND a Whataburger very close to the residence inn, so I have options for getting food other than the BBQ place and Jack In The Box.

It's all a total pain in the butt, but I'll make it through somehow!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

More Stuff Out The Door

Ok, last night the guy who's starting a band came by and got the bass and all the effects pedals, leaving me only with the drum machine.  Sigh, but they're going to a good home where they'll be used.  The guy who wanted the Strat came, saw, and bought during lunch.  Tonight I'm giving my Android tablet to a nice lady that's starting her own business, just because I like her and want her to succeed.  Tomorrow night the RG250DX goes out, along with the P-Rails pickup.  Nothing left but the drum machine to sell!

Looks like no rain this weekend so shipping the Dell off will happen, and I can make a couple of Goodwill runs.  Whoopie!

Not much progress in the writing department, what with the move, selling stuff, etc. my mood has been kind of antithetical to writing anything other than poetry about being miserable (yecch).  I did buy a couple of Kindle books on writing romance and sex scenes (blush) because I think I need help there.  Grabbed a couple of history books as well, for reference use later.

3D art front, been learning about Posers lighting models and trying to get thing more realistic looking.  I don't need photoreal for album art or book illustrations but for my pin-up stuff (Vargas style) it'd be nice.  Much to learn, much to learn.

Work proceeds.  Every time I think I'm going to work myself out of the job, something new comes up for me to do, so I'll probably be here for quite a while!  That works for me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Troublesome Tuesday

Well, what a day!  I finally put all my guitar and recording gear up for sale on Craigslist, priced to move, and move it did!  Every single item on the list is spoken for that I put up for sale, the only thing that I haven't sold is the Tascam digital four track, which I'm going to hang on to for a field recorder in conjunction with the H2N.

This puts me back into fighting trim - now everything I own will fit in 3 pieces of luggage, and I might be able to reduce that to 2 if I eliminate a travel bag of medical supplies (bandages, etc.) that I believe I can get away without.  If I need to move to change contracts, or end up bouncing around extended stay inns while I search for a longer-term place, it won't be such a gigantic pain in the butt.

With Tracktion 4 (a digital audio workstation program, or DAW) in my arsenal, now moving back into pure composition is VERY possible.  This would save me the Alesis Qx25, but it's pretty small anyway so it's not super-critical.  I saved more space cutting my t-shirt collection down by 75%!

Dang, I need a beer.  I'll have to grab a six on the way home tonight, when I get dinner from the grocery store.  I don't want to keep a fridge full any more, just going to buy what I need when I need it.  Less to waste by throwing out when I finally leave!

If all goes mostly according to plan, the morning of March 1st. I'll get up in my old place, pack up the last of my stuff, and then go to work - and go home to my new place!  I'll check in February 28, drop off my rolling suitcase full of goodies, and then go off to work as usual.

It's a pain in the tail, but I'm sure it will all work out OK.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Maunderings

Monday, blech.  Oh well, it has to be dealt with.

Things proceed apace.  Sold off my 23in monitor, prepping the Dell for shipment, found a good home for the Android tablet.  Tonight and tomorrow night I'll post the rest of my junque on Craigslist.  What doesn't get sold by Sunday, goes either to Goodwill or into the trash!

I've made a reservation at a Value Inn on a bus line, the commute is a little longer but not too bad.  The place will be a weekly-rent studio with a small stove, fridge, TV, and of course Internet access!  I have it initially booked for 2 weeks starting next Thursday, but will extend it as long as it takes me to find a good, more permanent place.  At about $300/week it's not too horrible, maid service once a week, coin-op laundry right there as well.  There's really nothing close, so I won't be going out as much for the duration, plus the bus only runs until 9:30pm on Saturday/Sunday so that means if I'm out late, it's taxi time!  Will have to budget for that.

Not much else going on, all bandwidth is consumed in prepping to move.  I need to cram as much money on to the prepaid credit card as I can in the next few weeks, to provide a buffer in case something goes horribly wrong and I end up having to hang out in a regular hotel/motel somewhere, but that's a worst-case scenario.  Fun money pool is dramatically reduced for now, likely won't party anywhere but at home until I find a new place to settle.

What a bother.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Moving time!

Well, it seems that the property owner of the place I live has decided to convert the place into  more lucrative vacation/short term rental, so I need to be out no later than March 1st.!

Mostly what this is, is annoying.  Short-term, I can move into a weekly motel or extended stay residence inn.  Longer-term I need to find a less expensive solution (lol) but that shouldn't be much of a challenge.

Moving all my stuff, however, is painful, and so (sigh) I'm going to sell off abut 80% of what I own, get it all down into my rolling duffel bag + backpack + small carrying bag, and then try to NOT GET MORE JUNK without getting RID of something first!

Staying will be my Core i5 laptop, the Asus T4400 dual-core laptop, my Android tablet, and the Lenovo Tablet PC.  Also staying will be all my 2D/3D/music software.  Clothes, critical paperwork, and my stuffed toys come along for the trip as well.  I'll toss in one of my headphone/mic sets and a pile of small keepsakes and personal maintenance gear, and that'll easily fit into my bags.  I'm already about 2/3 packed, only daily necessities and 2 of the computers (tje i5 laptop and the tablet PC) are live right now.

Going will be.. EVERYTHING ELSE.  Yep - all guitars, all music hardware, all recording gear, plastic toy models, audio gear, and unused clothes.  I have a HUGE bag of old t-shirts, dress shirts too small for me, and other sundry items that I'm going to donate to charity.

I let way too much stuff build up over the past months. Should the local economy bomb and I need to move it would be painful and difficult right now, and I need to stay relatively portable so I can jump on a moments notice.

It's a big change of plans BUT! I'm still writing and doing 3D, music will be back on the computer (sigh) and that should all do quite nicely.

So, this weekend will be a HUGE moving sale as I dump a ton of goodies on the public.  Anything that doesn't sell will go to a local charity (to be chosen depending on what's left).

Well, I wanted to simplify.. and I got it! Not quite how I expected, but it's effective.

More as it happens.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Simplifying, not so simple

Some days, I really drive myself nuts.

I'm trying to simplify my life so I can focus on writing first, then computer art, then music.  So I have a pile of stuff to sell, I've managed to get down to 2 computers, and one guitar.. but..

I look at all the stuff to sell and keep thinking "But I could...".  It's hard to stop and tell myself that just because I COULD or MIGHT doesn't mean I SHOULD.  A new computer? Don't need it.  A second guitar? I don't play the one I have more than once or twice a week.  Drum machine.. don't use it at all.

So why do I have this weird desire to not only keep this stuff, but get more.. well.. "because I might want to use it some day".  No actual need for any of it, and if I put the money on the credit card or in savings, if I DO need it I can run off and get it THEN, when there's a PROVEN NEED.

Argh!  So I'm in a continual state of stress about it all, torn between a strong desire to minimize things and the sick urge to acquire things "while I have money".  I suppose it's a holdover from the feast-or-famine days of old, when Dad would either have a good contract and we were rich, or was between contracts and we were in deep conservation mode.

Just one more little bother to push through!  It's working well so far, the fewer things I have clamoring for attention, the more I actually accomplish!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wacky Wednesday

Well, plans change (le sigh).  After a nice long chat with a guitar tech at Guitar Center, it looks like it would cost me more than $500 to repair and upgrade the RG!  That's only $100 less than just flat-out buying a new  Nashville Telecaster.. so.. never mind, on to Craigslist it goes.  For now I'll make do with one guitar and see how that works out, since I only play 2-3 times a week and otherwise am writing or working on visual art stuff.

Doing more research for Threshold, I have a good grip on how I want the chapters laid out and what (in general) will happen in each one.  There will be 8 or 9 "chapters", 7 being major transitions and 2 being intro/outro kind of chapters.  It's based on the stages of alchemical transformation.. heh.  I think that structure will work out well.

At this point I'm ready to set up a Scrivener project and start in on it.  I have a few draft pages I can drop in, and then start to expand.  I have most of the major characters and some of the minor players, so there's nothing stopping me from getting Serious(tm) about this.

When I'm not writing, I'm plotting out an illustrated serial project!  Yep, The Vicky Chronicles will rise again!  That's my second priority after working on my main novel/novella project.  I have all the art assets I need to make it happen, and a good idea for the first few episodes, so hopefully soon I can get some character studies done and crank out some images.. those will end up on my DeviantArt site, which I need to link to some day (lol)!

Rainy outside today, makes for a sleepy day at the office.  Thankfully I have a ton of coffee.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday, Monday

At least it's not a MANIC Monday.  I have to be grateful for the little things, I guess.

Well, GO RAVE?NS! My team won so I'm happy about that, it was a good game except for the whole blackout thing.  I ate way too many chicken wings and drank way too much beer, and while I had one heck of a good time - today I pay.  I think, no wings or beer for a few weeks (uurp).

All computers set up and going.  The i5 system is now dedicated to 2D/3D art, the Asus has all my writing and ePublishing software, and the tablet has my Kindle library and a copy of Scrivener for portable and in-bed writing tasks.  This arrangement will do fine for a while, the only thing I might do is still replace the i5 with an i7, and move the i5 to be the writing machine, and sell the Asus off.  But honestly, that's months away at the earliest.

The studio is all set up, it's functional but I need a power supply for the multitrack (which I just ordered from Musicians Friend today).  Next up will be replacing the 4 track with an 8 track recorder, another Tascam since I really like having all the knobs and buttons.  Hooray for hardware!

As to guitars, I'm not going to touch the Strat pickups - with the right settings, it chimes, sings, and quacks like a duck (lol)!  The RG will get the P-Rails in the bridge, a Lace Sensor Gold in the middle, and a Bluesbucker in the neck.  This will turn the RG into a rock/heavy blues guitar that can stretch to metal.  I love the bass tone and I'll be taking the bass in for setup work next weekend, the neck seems a bit off in the upper frets and the action above the 12th fret is a bit high.

Writing, writing, writing.  Wrote some this weekend, and this week will get further into Threshold and the plot arc for the next 2 novellas.  It's going to be a fair amount of work to get it done, but I've pretty much cleaned everything but my day gig off my plate and I can focus on writing first, music and art second.

Shudder.. I can still taste chicken wings, even now, over the  coffee I'm sucking down.  Nasty.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Stupor Bowl Sundae

Well, it's the Football Weekend to end All Football Weekends - the Super Bowl.  Too bad the Texans aren't in it, so I'm not super excited.  I've lived in the Baltimore area, and the SF Bay Area, so I'm torn between "Go Niners" and "Go Ravens".. argh!  I'll probably go out to Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon for live music and just avoid the whole football thing.

Well, the back house is fixed up, all fire damage repaired, and the electrical system redone.. so tonight I'm moving back into my old room for the near future.  There's some student from Spain that has emergency need of a place to stay, so I'm going to shift over ASAP so she can take my old room.

Still have the darn cold, the sucker is hanging on tight!  It's being beaten back but darn, it's taking forever to shake it.  The wild variations in weather surely aren't helping, a week of 78f or so, then down to the 40s again, then back into the 70s.. urgh.

Still going to spend most of the weekend prepping things to sell and getting my computer set up again.   I'll be back on the lit keyboard and 21in monitor, hooray! It's WAY easier to work on 3D on something bigger than the 15.6in monitor on the laptop.

If I get a Core i7, it's going to have a 17in. screen.  That way if I end up in a small place again, I can still do 3D work without going blind (heh).

I need to blog more often on my writing sites, Red Room and AuthorsDen.  Once I get myself into a schedule, that should become easier.

Have a happy weekend, everyone!