Zen and the Art of Lawnmower Management

Image Source: https://www.fatherly.com/parenting/young-children-yardwork-outdoor-chores/

I was off yesterday and took time to I’m work on the (many) yard work projects that have to do. I was able to get two of the major projects that done, but I still have quite a bit of work left to do over the summer to truly get the yard back in order.

If It’s Broke, Then Fix It.

Last summer, my lawn mower broke, so this summer I bought a new one. I managed to use it twice and was able to (slightly) get ahead of the yard work. Then guess what happened? Yup, it broke too. Now the thing was still under warranty, so I could have called the warranty information number and got service. However, the part was a small one and the failure was minor (a bolt that held the mulching cover to the mower had rusted and broke off). Now, it took me a while to find the correct cover on Amazon and a YouTube video that showed how to repair it (a couple of weeks, in which time the grass and other yard works grew exponentially). My stepfather saved me some time and money by reminding me that I didn’t need to order a new part; I just needed to remove the part from the old mower and put it on the new one. This weekend, I finally was able to go to Ace and get the tools to effect the repair. However, I ended up returning them as it turns out I didn’t even need them (they were too big for the job anyway). A simple wrench that I’d bought from Ace already was sufficient to do the job. It only took about 20 minutes to get it done and I was back in business.

It’s a Jungle Out There

So, the 2nd major project that I tackled was clearing the brush from the various fences. I didn’t clear everything–that will take a while, but I was able to make a dent in the fences and other areas around the house where the bushes could clearly be seen from the street. I did miss one set, if I’m honest, as it required me to climb on the ladder and I was too tired to drag it out (I did this at about 4:30 pm in the afternoon, so the temps were about high 80s/low 90s (F). It didn’t really affect me, but I should have done that set first because, at the end of a long day of cutting, I just didn’t feel like getting out the ladder.

Still, the pile was fairly substantial and I called our city’s brush removal services in order to get them to come and pick the brush from the lawn. So, while I didn’t get any writing or reading done (in any meaningful way), I did at least work on making the house more presentable and got it looking fairly nice (just in time for the rain which is forecast for Thurs/Friday of this week). Oh well, at least that’s done for this week and I can move on to other things. Have a good one!

Sidney

Please consider supporting these fine small press publishers where my work has appeared:




  • Current Work-in-Progress–February 2019: Project Dog  (Sci-Fi Short-Story – 1st Draft — Character Draft “Finished”)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Ship of Shadows (Sci-Fi Graphic Novel – Script, Issue # 2, Currently on Script Page 32)

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Goodbye Star Wars: Clone Wars, Hello Farscape

Image Source: https://reelgood.com/show/star-wars-the-clone-wars-2008

So, I’ve been away from the blog for a while due to school and reading for the tests for this semester. I’ve been consuming media on the weekends, but I just haven’t really had a chance to blog about it. There have been several major video game news items that I’ve wanted to blog about (& with luck, I still will), but basically, today I wanted to talk about the “streaming future” and the way it will work in the future.

Goodbye Star Wars: Clone Wars

After trying to get through the series when it was first released and not being able to due to the erratic nature of its broadcast schedule originally, I tried to get through it on Netflix when it first appeared. There was an episode that I couldn’t get through–the one where Padme and Annakin have to use Padme’s former boyfriend to get information on the Separatists–and so I dropped it. This was when Star Wars: Clone Wars (SWCW) had first entered the Netflix catalogue. I recently (this year) finally got past that odiuous episode and was making my way through the series when I got the notice that SWCW would be leaving the service on April 7th. As I was in the midst of studying for tests, there wasn’t really anything I could do about it–no major binges or anything like that–so I was only able to get to Season 3 (first episode) before the show was pulled. Now, it isn’t gone forever–more than likely this show is going to appear on Disney’s new “Streaming” service.

Obviously, I don’t really like this. To the best of my knowledge, Disney’s new service will not be “free.” If it costs money, then I have to decide whether I need Disney’s service over Netflix’s service, or whether I can afford (notice I didn’t use the word need as I don’t need either service, but I want them for entertainment). I don’t really like this idea of starting new services when there are already market leaders in the market. I’ll explain why in a moment. For the moment, the point is moot as Disney’s service hasn’t actually premiered.

Hello Farscape

Farscape is a early to mid 90s Sci-Fi show that, like Babylon 5 (B5), I saw a few episodes when it first premiered. Afterwards, it was one of the first shows on streaming. I managed to see approx. the first 2 seasons before it went away (again, much like SWCW where it went away before I could finish it). I’m starting over again. It has been long enough that I really don’t remember the characters or the relationships well enough to try to pick up where I left off. I will try to finish this series this time around (again, like B5), and if I do so, I will post a review of the series on the blog.

Streaming: Hello and Goodbye

So the thing about streaming is that it is almost a lot like broadcast network: you are at the whim of the providers and licensors as to what you can watch when. It takes away choice. The providers go out and acquire the content and you watch it. However, not all providers have all the content, meaning subscriptions to multiple providers to get a good coverage of old and new content. Now, content provider sees these subscription fees as way of guaranteeing revenue (hence, CBS All Access, Disney’s upcoming streaming service, and the myriad of others who want in on the act, like NBC Sports). However, the market cannot and will not support all these services, so just like all other markets, most will fail until an oligopoly has been established of the main players (usually 2-3, sometimes more, but rarely) and equilibrium will be established. There will always be smaller players (a fair amount), but in the end, there will only be a few major players. The problem is that everyone, no matter how late they are to the party (I’m looking at you Apple) wants to be a part of the oligopoly. And while the consumer may ultimately win through competition, we’re about to enter a phase where the consumer will be the ultimate loser since the only way to get all the content will be to buy as many services as one can afford–not great on the consumer’s bottom line.

Until the shakeup happens and content providers stop there own services and partner with larger companies, the consumer loses. And will this happen? I point you to the immenient shutdown management platforms like VUDU and the like. They wanted to be a place where you dumped all movies that you purchased so as to diffuse the power and domination they felt Apple had in the marketplace. Now they are going away and Apple still maintains its dominance in purchased content, but has seceded its in content to the “streaming” platforms.

My point is that capitalism is NOT always good for the consumer, especially whenever there is market upheaval. The market doesn’t always work in the consumer’s favor and we need to stop gushing over capitalism as if it is a “perfect” system. Like all human inventions and endeavors, it has its flaws, and the fact that I no longer have access to watch a show through no action of my own that I hadn’t finished highlights just one of the many flaws in the system.

I guess I’m writing about this, not to gripe or to propose a better system, but in the hopes that by pointing out the flaws, someone (an economist or theorist) many be able to implement ideas that can correct these flaws.

Sidney

Please consider supporting these fine small press publishers where my work has appeared:




  • Current Work-in-Progress–February 2019: Project Dog  (Sci-Fi Short-Story – 1st Draft — Character Draft “Finished”)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Ship of Shadows (Sci-Fi Graphic Novel – Script, Issue # 2, Currently on Script Page 32)

Finished 3rd Draft of “Starlight, Starbright”!

Man in Rocketpack flying in front of blue and white building.
Image Source: https://creartys.com/artists/view/109/rocketman

Sorry for dropping the blog for the past two weeks, but between being sick with the flu (was still fairly sick on last Monday) and then trying to prepare for my test is Rhetoric and Composition on last Friday, I decided that I really needed to read, read, read! I have a test in film for this week, and I’m still reading like there’s no tomorrow, but I will try to be better this week about blogging–I probably won’t have an entry every day, but I’ll do my best.

3rd Draft of “Starlight, Starbright”

So, I finished my “final” draft for “Starlight, Starbright.” This is the story that I revised in January and was originally called “Rocket-Man.” I planned to submit to an anthology, but it has already closed (I think it closed 2/28). I’ll look around to see if there’s another place I can send it next week when I look at my guidelines, but at the moment, I don’t have a specific place to send it.

Weekend Writer

I’m just going to have to be a weekend writer. I’ve spent Saturdays (at first) and now Sunday evenings to do my writing (& submitting). I really should try to get it down to a story a month, but at the moment that is just too much with classwork, house work and trying to rest from the work week on the weekends. I revised my story (basically) a section at a time, which took approximately 5 or 6 Saturdays in total (which is why I’m deep in to March instead of finishing by late February.)

Write One, Plan One

My goal for 2019 is to find a way to “write one, plan one.” I want to be writing a project and planning another one in the “background.” My plan is to work on & finish the graphic novel of DSRV Outrider and send it off to a publisher. I believe that I’ve lost my artist for that project as I haven’t heard from him for over a year and a half, so I should just probably finish it and submit it to one of the few publishers of graphic novels that doesn’t require an artist. I just listened to a podcast of Writing Excuses with Darren Shan (author of the Cirque du Freak novels). While I admire his writing style and prolific nature, I could not pull off trying to write 12+ novels and stories in in one time–which is what he claims works for him. It just would be too hard. I can come up with an amazing amount of ideas, but I need time in order to execute those ideas effectively. Too many projects at one time and my mind basically “freezes” and I can’t do anything effectively.

Any, that’s a quick and dirty explanation of what’s been going on for the past two weeks: illness, studying for tests, and a brief stint at writing are pretty much the extent of my output for the past two weeks. Hopefully, I’ll be better (in all aspects) in fairly short order. 🙂

Sidney

Please consider supporting these fine small press publishers where my work has appeared:




  • Current Work-in-Progress–February 2019: Starlight, Starbright (Sci-Fi Short-Story — 2nd Draft — “Opening Incident” (5/5 sections)
  • Current Work-in-Progress–February 2019: Project Dog  (Sci-Fi Short-Story – 1st Draft — Character Draft “Finished”)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Ship of Shadows (Sci-Fi Graphic Novel – Script, Issue # 2, Currently on Script Page 32)

Anatomy of a Week of Illness

Man in bed, feeling unwell.
Image Source: http://healthliving.today/how-to-avoid-getting-sick/

Sorry that I haven’t posted during the past week. I managed to get a blog up last week that briefly talked about what was going on and to potentially prepare blog readers that I wouldn’t have a chance to blog regularly.

Sunday Night

I went to church (& felt fine). If I’d felt sick, I wouldn’t have gone as I wouldn’t have wanted to spread illness, but I felt fine. Later, we went out to eat and I felt fine then, as well, but when we came back, I had a sore throat on Sunday night. I never have a sore throat, unless I’m sick, so that was a major sign. I went to bed with a major sore throat and the beginnings of a headache.

Monday

Probably the worst day of the whole week. I had a sore throat, stomach cramps, fatigue, congestion (chest), fever, chills and stayed in the bed pretty much the entire day. I only got up long enough to eat–breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and only because my body made me.

Tuesday – Wednesday

Felt slightly better, but due to congestion that settled in my chest (lungs), I was fatigued and simply couldn’t do anything. I tried very hard to do things–get up, get going, and try to get well as I had an appointment for contacts lens on Wednesday. However, when Wednesday came around, I had to call and reschedule.

Thursday – Friday

I though I would feel better toward the later part of the week, but the congestion in my chest didn’t break up like it normally does, and I found that I couldn’t breathe like normal. My mother said that I should probably go to the doctor, but since the main part of the illness (the fever) was over, I decided not to, but I was extremely fatigued for those two days.

Saturday – Sunday

Finally, on Friday night, my congestion began to go away, but going along with that was a cough that kept me up most of the night. I was actually able to get up and be a “human being” on Saturday night. However, after about 3 hours of my normal Saturday laundry routine, I was exhausted. Sunday was a little better, as I actually went out for the first time in literally 7 days. Needless to say, I was exhausted after a simple jaunt to the store and to get gas for the car.

Sidney

Please consider supporting these fine small press publishers where my work has appeared:




  • Current Work-in-Progress–February 2019: Starlight, Starbright (Sci-Fi Short-Story — 2nd Draft — “Opening Incident” (2/5 sections)
  • Current Work-in-Progress–February 2019: Project Dog  (Sci-Fi Short-Story – 1st Draft — Character Draft “Finished”)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Ship of Shadows (Sci-Fi Graphic Novel – Script, Issue # 2, Currently on Script Page 32)

Spring Break = Sick

Not sure where the image came from–if I felt better I’d look it up. So Sorry!

Sorry that there was no blog entry today–it is Spring Break for me and I’d planned on working on a couple a day and getting caught up. What I hadn’t planned on was getting sick. I had a flu shot, but it feels like I have the flu anyway–chills, body-aches, and weakness (I feel like a 3 day old kitten). My mother has just gone to get me some Chicken Noodle Soup–as I could barely keep my lunch down this afternoon.

Hopefully, I’ll feel better tomorrow.

Sidney

Quick Hit: Orientation

So, this is a “quick hit” post. Sorry for not posting, but I’m currently in orientation for both the English Department and the Writing Center at MTSU right now. I wish that I had the ability to multitask and write at the same time, but unfortunately, I always give 100% of my focus to whatever it is I’m doing.

Generally speaking, I should try to let my readers know ahead of time that I’m not going to get a blog post done, I’m going to work on that, but for now, here ‘s a small entry to let you know that I’m still alive.

🙂

Sidney

“Ret-to-Go!”

Image Source: https://wccftech.com/review/shantae-half-genie-hero-review-true-fun/

So this is going to be a “quick hit” blog post (a super short one with a longer one to follow later), but I just wanted to say that I’m “Ret-to-go” for 2019.

Ret-to-go is slang for “Ready to go” and is used by Shantae, heroine of the indie video game, Shantae, Half-Genie Hero. While I have no way of knowing what 2019 will bring, I’m hopeful that it be a productive (& successful) year.

So in Shantae’s words, “Ret-to-go!”

Sidney




  • Current Work-in-Progress: The Independent (Sci-Fi Short-Story – 2nd Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Project Star (Sci-Fi Short-Story -1st Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Ship of Shadows (Sci-Fi Graphic Novel – Script, Issue # 2, Currently on Script Page 32)