Sunday, August 31, 2014

Riding my bike to work

I was riding my single speed bike to work. I came across a steep incline, so I pedaled harder. The chain snapped. In hindsight, I should have carried a repair kit with me. I used the Fred Flintstone method to get me the rest of the way, and I still made it to work on time.

I showed the broken chain to my coworkers. "Anybody know of a bike shop downhill from here?" Nobody laughed. One guy asked if I had anyone I can call.

Sure, I got people I can call, but I decided I should take a crack at fixing the chain. It turns out that a pin popped out of a bushing, and two outer links were bent out of shape. I was able to fix these with pliers I bought at the gas station. I was able to make it home as long as I took it easy and didn't put too much stress on the chain. I still need to buy a new one, though.

Now there is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. I've helped others when they needed help, and other people have helped me many times. But try to avoid needing that help in the first place.

Self-reliance. Pass it on.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A novella I wrote about a suicidal person is suddenly relevant again.

I didn't plan on writing anything about Robin Williams. Celebrity deaths are talked about so much that I really don't think I have anything unique to contribute to that particular conversation. Then I remembered "Wasted Life" a story I wrote about a suicidal woman who intends to kill herself near a hospital in order give her organs away. It's a dark comedy, and it's definitely not appropriate for sensitive people. But I had a couple friends who attempted suicide in the past read it. And they loved it. So if this story brought joy to people who really, really needed it, then I probably should be doing more to promote this book.


 "Wasted Life" is the story of Angela Fulton, a depressed woman who makes an Internet video announcing her intent to kill herself in ten days and give her organs away. During those 10 days, she has to stay one step ahead of the authorities or else get locked away under suicide watch. People reach out to her, either because they care about her or because they have a loved one who can use her organs.

This book is available for 99 cents for Nook, Kindle, and other platforms. For all copies sold until the end of September 2014, my share of the proceeds will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Smart phone apps that should exist

1) Car Chat: You remember CB radios? Let's replace those with smartphones as well. Download the app, pick out your handle and put it on a bumper sticker. Tag your account with the make, model, and color of your car. Now you'll be able to say "DackBird29, your tire is flat." or "Blue Dodge Caravan, your tail light is out" and the other driver will actually be able to hear you. And if someone starts ranting like an 12 year old on Xbox Live, then that driver can be banned from using the service. It can even have a Reddit-style karma system for when you provide roadside assistance to fellow drivers. Altruism is great and all, but it's just so much better when you get recognition for it.

 2) The Bike Clip App: I got a bike clip for my phone, and it has a nasty habit of pushing the volume control and the camera button on the side of the phone. So I have a lot of accidental pictures of the front tire of my bike that I have to delete. So it would be fabulous if I had an app that turned off the side buttons when I have my phone in my bike clip.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

A couple thoughts about texting.

First of all, remember that anything you text can be screenshotted and used against you in the court of social media. So don't be a dick, and don't show your dick. Secondly, don't get bent out of shape if someone is slow to respond to a text. Maybe their phone's battery died. Maybe they are busy or distracted. Maybe they are trying to compose a witty, intelligent response to what you just said. Maybe they fell asleep if it's late at night. If getting a response is that critical, just call the person and get the conversation over with. If not, go text somebody else or play Angry Birds. Better yet, play Ingress and get out of the house.

Monday, August 04, 2014

The problem with blogging

The problem with blogging is that if your life is interesting enough to write about, you either don't have time to write about it, or you need to keep things vague because certain interested parties (employers, law enforcement) might be reading your blog. Anyway, I have been writing short science fiction stories this year. Hopefully, they will get published and I will tell you where you can find them. If nobody likes them, you just might find them here. So stay tuned!