Clearlight 23rd, 715 in the Forty-One Worlds

Hi. It’s me. I’m surprised to see that I last wrote something here less than a month ago… it seems ages. But I just posted the eighth episode of the Managlitch City Underground podcast, and even if that isn’t a nice round number like fifty or twenty or even ten, it feels a bit anniversary-ish because I’m a computer geek.

I’m trying to finish another episode in a week because I want two of them out this month. That sure sounds easy when I type it, but it hasn’t been. Lesson: when hitting up busy friends for donated talent, figure on lots of lead time. Basically, I’m learning to write more scripts in advance.

Maya still supports my creative efforts wonderfully. Since I work full time, every hour I spend writing is an hour we aren’t talking or cuddling or something; but she gets me so incredibly well, and understands that I need to express myself creatively for my soul to work right. And that’s important to her. She’s amazing and I love her dearly and I wish every day for a long joyful partnership.

I’m adjusting to life in Raleigh nicely, though it will of course be months before I feel as comfortable as I did in Hampton Roads. Having my own place is making me pretty happy; I’ll be happier when I tame more of the stack of storage boxes.

This year I had to skip Anime Mid-Atlantic because of all the moving expenses, and I hate that. I’ve barely seen any of my friends for weeks, and I’m not happy to have missed this chance to dress up, socialize, and party. (Responsibly.) Plus it’s my last non-working con until November, so feh.

Frankly, I’ve got plenty of money worries now that I’ve decided to level up my adulting game, but I don’t know many folks who don’t, and they aren’t disastrous at this point, so they’re barely worth mentioning. Were it not for my anxieties, I might barely notice them.

So that’s where I stand right now. Hopefully by my next post I will have some very fun news to announce. In the meantime, try the podcast out if you haven’t? And positive reviews of it on iTunes are always most welcome!

Four Episodes In!

I should be ready to record Episode Five of Managlitch City Underground in a day or two, if all goes well. I’m kind of amazed I have four episodes in the can and up on iTunes already. We’ve had two brilliant guest voices – Jerry Conner and Kara Dennison – and more are clamoring to appear in future episodes; I just have to keep writing them.

So far, it’s been a fascinating experience. I have no set deadline, but I know when I want the episodes to come out, and I’ve managed to stick pretty closely to that. I have very little idea what I’m doing, and have been learning GarageBand and iTunes and the PowerPress plugin for WordPress as I go. In many ways, I love that, because the only person breathing down my neck really is me, and it gives me the creative freedom to screw up. You only really learn and improve when you make mistakes, and I’m making the most of this chance to do so.

Maya’s been my primary editor for the show, and she’s doing an amazing job. She’s not afraid to tell me when she thinks something isn’t working, and she knows me well enough to point me in the direction I probably wanted to go anyway. It’s pure creative joy when working with other talented folks makes your creation even better than it comes out in your head.

I’m shooting for a recorded-live show at InterventionCon later this year – I should have plenty of episodes under my belt by then, enough cred to make a claim for a programming spot. My stats tell me people are listening, but I try not to take them too seriously and just concentrate on making something good. Do that, and with luck the rest will follow.

So, anyway, life is creatively good right now, and I just wanted to share that with anyone listening. 😀

Managlitch City Underground

I probably started listening to podcasts not long after I got my first full-featured iPod from Rain. I remember tuning into “Slacker Astronomy” (that evolved into “Astronomy Cast”); “The Instance”, a World of Warcraft podcast; and many others. They were like the cool radio shows that have mostly disappeared from anything other than public radio, and I could listen to them on my own schedule.

Probably less than a year or two afterwards, I started thinking how much fun it would be to do a podcast of my own. I had several half-formed ideas, but never could come up with something that I felt strongly about. I had the smarts to know it would be a lot of time and effort to put into something that didn’t excite me, so on the back burner the ideas went.

But like a Paul McCartney and Wings song, all those ideas abruptly came together a few months ago into something I liked! Since then I’ve been inventing a world, creating characters, writing scripts, Photoshopping graphics, and fighting WordPress bugs; all to bring you Managlitch City Underground!


A friend described the setting as “Zelazny’s ‘Amber’ meets Deep Space Nine”. Managlitch City is a place where reality frequently goes wrong in large or small ways, and where people make the best of it as they would anywhere else. On the podcast, a pirate radio host give you his perspective on the latest doings of the City, and we’ll use him to tell many different stories in the setting.

I know the iTunes podcast directory isn’t an exclusive club, but I’ve put a great deal of effort into this project, and I can hardly describe the thrill of seeing my work there for any and all to hear. I look forward to telling many tales of the City, and I hope someone out there enjoys them!

Come Sail Away

While driving to work this morning, watching the sunrise and listening to the Trance Euphoria podcast, I flashed on a fantasy that’s been with me since I could drive, if not before.

In that fantasy, I’m cruising down the Interstate at standard driving speeds, waiting for a nice gap in the cars before and behind me. At the right moment, I reach down to the center console and hit the switch that activates the repulsor pads in the undercarriage.

As the aft thrusters warm up, I feel the small jerk that tells me that the wheels have lost contact with the ground. I hit the button that folds them away into the fenders, bring the thrusters up to 200 MPH, and climb into the sky, arriving at work in 15 minutes instead of 50.

That little vignette hits me on almost any drive longer than 20 minutes. I love visiting all sorts of places… it’s the actual getting there that I often find so tedious. Needless to say, mine would be the only car that could do this, otherwise there’d be flaming wrecks scattered across the landscape. (And not always other people’s fault, either: last night I almost broadsided someone because I was thinking about my grocery list rather than the road. Bad Borg.)

On The Move

It’s been a heck of a week, and I haven’t had much opportunity to post. Let’s see if I can catch up a bit.

As of Wednesday evening, Starr and I began sleeping at the new house. This was slightly impeded by the fact that our bed hadn’t been moved yet, and Starr’s parents had returned for some of their stuff, so we had to share a twin bed in a guest bedroom. Note: no matter how cuddly the other person is, tucking two people into a twin bed gets old quickly.

I’m now getting up at 5:30 every morning to get out of the house by 6:30. My efficiency’s improved, as it was taking me up to 90 minutes to get showered, dressed, and moving, but it means I have exactly enough coherence to drive safely and not a bit more. The commute’s indeed an hour; thank goodness for podcasts.

Each day last week, I stopped by the apartment on the way home to grab some more stuff. Slowly, all the vital necessities of life have been put in place at the house, such as transforming Macross toys and Lensman paperbacks. By this weekend, I expect to have the silly stuff moved like cooking gear and clean underwear. (Okay, I *am* kidding about the underwear; that was high-priority.)

Starr’s parents left on Friday – or was it Thursday? – but returned once more on Saturday for more stuff, and so we could take her little sister to Nekocon. We only stayed for a few hours Saturday afternoon and evening; I had no idea that the con was so HUGE. 3,000 people were claimed in one press release, and it sure looked like it. I could not believe the number and variety of hall costumes! (Of course, I forgot a camera.) Starr dressed as a loligoth, while her sister wore an InuYasha costume. Many pictures of them were taken, but I have seen none posted; me, I was grumpy that morning, and didn’t wear a costume. By the end of the evening I regretted the decision, but oh well.

Tuesday, I had the day off, and I headed back over to the apartment to collect more stuff. Our downstairs neighbors are both military, and were also home; when they found out what I was up to, they instantly volunteered their two pickups, and pitched in on the packing. Thanks to them, we’re about 70% done with the move, and should be able to finish this weekend; I had reason to appreciate our veterans even more that day! They were awesome folks.

We’re switching the house from Verizon to Cox for our internet and phone, and were surprised to learn the the cable junction box is across the street. Shortly after we learned this, we learned that the underground line to our house is bad, and they’ll have to bore a new conduit for us this week. The cable, phone, and Internet at the apartment was disabled on Wednesday, so communications have been impaired. Right now my cell phone and work Internet are my main connections to the world.

Midori has been introduced to Tigger and Precious, two cats we’re inheriting from Starr’s parents. They seem to be more amused than anything else by her hissing and posturing, and she seems to be slowly understanding the uselessness of making all the fuss. With any luck, they’ll civilize her a bit.

This Saturday, I hope to have everything out of the apartment that isn’t tucked in my office. Sunday, I’ll pack all the little figures and toys and books and such I have on display in my office, and move that over, and at that point the actual move should be about done. We can then spend a week or so cleaning up the place nice before we hand over the keys.

Then… maybe… perhaps… a rest. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable reward!


In a perfect world, I would have an e-book or three loaded on the Newton right now, or have an iPhone with web access. Instead, I am sitting on Rt. 664, as I have for the last hour, waiting for them to clear a major accident from the Monitor-Merrimac tunnel. The good news is that I’ve got a nice calming trance podcast on the iPod.

I tried first to write some notes for fiction projects, but while a thought or two leaked through, I’m generally blocked; so I am journaling on this Apple notepad instead. I need to scrawl less sloppily; the handwriting recognition on the final OS rev was pretty good, but there’s only so much of my bad penmanship it can take. Lowercase ‘f’s keep coming out capital, for some reason. I’m adding more curve to the tops.

Car behind me just stalled out, guy asked for a jump start. No problem. Asked three times which terminals he had the jumper clamps on… after impressive display of sparks from my battery terminal, went and checked myself. Reversed them. Thank goodness that didn’t kill the Hyundai.

Just remembered I could send email from my work Blackberry; updated everyone there on my status. It seems I’m not the only NASA employee trapped here. I wonder if the accident was mechanical failure, or one or more people being idiots? I’ve been cut off twice in the last 24 hours by rude drivers trying for a single-car position advantage; Hampton Roads drivers can be brutal. On the other hand, I certainly hope no one was seriously hurt… as the cliche goes, “been there, done that”.

Whoops. We’re moving. Will post this from work.

A sea of happy oddness

On my morning drive I listened to a podcast this morning interviewing James Randi, noted stage magician and skeptic. He raved about Dragon*Con, calling it a gathering of 37,000 people where everyone is weird, smart, and surprisingly nice. Randi expressed amazement at the way that everyone “fits in” at Dragon*Con, even a cranky 80-year old magician, and that he’d be attending future Dragon*Cons whenever possible.

Fandom sure doesn’t have all the answers, but when we get it right, fandom rocks, doesn’t it?

I hope to go next year. I wanna meet some Mythbusters.


As I listened to The Thomas Jefferson Hour yesterday, the following thought crossed my mind:

Imagine that suddenly, you’re motivated to thoroughly research a famous historical figure, and present a weekly podcast in character as that person. You have to play it straight – no parodies or sitcoms. Who do you choose?

Getting the hang of Tuesday

Rough start to the day.

Didn’t sleep well – under-hydrated, I think. 200 spam messages from last night in my inbox: the Russian spammers are trying some new tricks. I can’t even read most of the e-mails. More idiots driving 45 in the passing lane, then shifting right and doing 70 in the slow lane; and to top it off, my morning podcast glitched out halfway into the drive.

On the other hand, I was greeted again this morning by friendly ducks on the way out to my car. Last night was great, with pizza and WoW provided by Starr and a remarkably clean apartment she’d spent her “lazy day” scrubbing. And this morning I heard that my longtime partner-in-crime Tom Monaghan, one of the few Starfleeters to hold officer posts on USS Heimdal, Pathfinder, McKay, Yeager, and Ma’at, signed his first fiction book contract! Awesome!

So karma balances, and if the rain lets up at all I’ll get some more walking in today. Into the fray!

Tweets for Today

  • 08:12 “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” on NPR may be lightweight comedy, but it’s funnier than morning DJs. #
  • 10:09 Walking across two parking lots in 25 degree weather is enough to make the hip start hurting. #

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