Sep. 11th, 2009 01:02 pm
michaeldthomas: (Default)
1- Caitlin is still fine. I talked to the school this morning and nobody else there contracted Pertussis. It looks like Caitlin will be going back to school on Monday. :-)

2- I realize that Amazon sales ranks have about the same predictive powers for sales as reading tea leaves or entrails, but I'm still pretty damn excited about the pre-order ranks for Chicks Dig Time Lords. Yesterday, it peaked at #7,824 in books (it currently sits at #13,656). The rankings are also up in different sub-categories. CDTL is currently #29 in Space Opera, #42 in Adventure, and #1 in Doctor Who books. That's pretty awesome for a book that's not out until March and so far has only been promoted on LiveJournal, Facebook, and Twitter. I'm very happy for [ profile] rarelylynne and [ profile] taraoshea.

3- I'm having trouble reading fiction without my writer brain going off. It's getting annoying.

4- I'm watching the Cubs game. How did so many things go wrong? More importantly, why did I think things would be different this year?

5- The Bears season begins on Sunday night. SUPER BEARS, SUPER BOWL!!! ;-)


May. 9th, 2009 11:30 am
michaeldthomas: (cubs)
So far, the season has not been great. The Cubs had some devastating news last night. It looks like Aramis Rameriz is going to be out 4-6 weeks with a dislocated shoulder. Considering that we have no good "Plan B" for third base, this is a very bad thing. Here's my panic list:

1- Carlos Zambrano is still on the DL.
2- Derek Lee is done. He just can't hit anymore. All of those nagging injuries caught up to him, leaving him with only warning-track power.
3- Our bullpen blows. Heilman is reminding us why they booed him at Shea Stadium, Cotts can't find the strike zone, Marmol has been bumpy, and Gregg scares the crap out of me every time he comes in to "save" a game.
4- Milton Bradley can't hit. I think he'll snap out of this, but it's only a matter of time before he gets hurt or blows up from the Chicago pressure. As my friend Drew pointed out, Bradley couldn't handle the fan and media pressure in Cleveland.
5- Soto is also in a bad slump.
6- Our defense is abysmal. We might have the worst range in baseball.


On the plus side, we're still over .500 and only 2 1/2 games out of first in the NL Central. Our rotation has been solid. Soriano, Theriot, and Fukudome are off to great starts, and we don't play in the AL East.

It's going to be a long summer.

Nice day

Apr. 22nd, 2009 06:58 pm
michaeldthomas: (Default)
The weather today is dry and cool. I'll take it. Here are some quick things while [ profile] rarelylynne is off doing the Rare Book thing in French.

1- I've managed to increase my volunteer workload again. I'm now on the RAMP Wheel-A-Thon Steering Committee (RAMP is our local disabilities advocacy agency). Many of you might remember our fundraising efforts last year. It shouldn't be too much of a time sink (I hope). I'm also going to be working with the City of DeKalb's IT department as they redesign the city's website. I'm the member of the Disabilities Commission who will help them with ADA compliance.

2- I spent the afternoon out at the independent coffeehouse. It's called The House. I'm usually only they for evening live shows since they're closed in the morning. The place is a mix of aging hipsters and NIU art kids in retro-kitsch surroundings (so much velvet). I sat there drinking my coffee, reading Gregory Frost's Shadowbridge, and eavesdropping on conversations. Good times. It was nice to get out of the house and actually take some time off. Also, very little has changed since my coffeehouse days over a decade ago. It's like college culture got frozen somewhere around 1994.

3- The Cubs are still chugging along. Dusty Baker's Reds...not so much. We're not a perfect team, but our division blows. The Cardinals and Brewers have good points, but the Reds, Pirates, and Astros are putrid.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
It’s a dreary day. The sky weeps frigid rain. Blah!

1- I was working on a post about #amazonfail, but [ profile] pnh said everything I was thinking over at Making Light this morning. Don’t get me wrong; I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person. The problem is that 999 times out of a 1000, conspiracy theories are proved to be utter nonsense. Amazon is a very big corporation. Somebody screwed up. I doubt it’s more complex than that.

2- In theory, today is the Cubs’ home opener. The rain might prevent this. After a week of baseball, we haven’t learned much. The team still looks good, Kevin Gregg still sucks, and Milton Bradley is still fragile. The one thing we really learned from ESPN last night was that you don’t make an awful broadcaster like Joe Morgan seem more intelligent by adding a bigger doofus like Steve Philips to the booth. I expect Jon Miller to lose it and jump out the broadcast booth's window by mid-July.

3- We watched the new Doctor Who special.
Spoilers! )
michaeldthomas: (cubs)
michaeldthomas: (cubs)
Why must the Cubs crush my heart?


Sep. 28th, 2008 10:46 pm
michaeldthomas: (Doctor Venture)
Today had a rough start. Caitlin woke up with a small seizure. The good news was it ended by itself. I’m always happy when I don’t need to give me daughter rectal valium.

After that, it was a quiet day of virtue. I took some walks and brainstormed some ideas for the next novel. I also managed to get some writing done for Mad Norwegian Press.

The virtuous almost outweighed the slothful watching of so much baseball and football. I'm very happy with the Cubs/Dodgers match-up. And finally, the Bears held a team in the 4th Quarter.

The coming week will be extremely busy. Here ‘s the quick preview:

1- A meeting at Caitlin’s school.

2- Dinner with [ profile] eeknight and [ profile] chats_noir.

3- Dinner with visiting friends.

4- Two doctor’s appointments at Children’s Memorial Hospital.

5- Sending in a chapter of the novel to the WindyCon workshop.

6- Writing, writing, writing.

Just finished reading: Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear
Currently reading: Rules of Conflict by Kristine Smith
michaeldthomas: (cubs)
There you go, [ profile] mirrorthaw. Lou did everything for you but have Mike Fontenot pitch.

I can't say that feel bad having both New York teams out of it this year. I think the baseball gods have spoken about tearing down two perfectly good, landmark stadiums for publicly-financed country clubs for the wealthy.
michaeldthomas: (Doctor Venture)
Six things make a post.

1- I’m watching the Cubs game (no shock). I’m pretty sure that that there are pixies and brownies that float around Carlos Zambrano’s head that only he can see. Sometimes he yells at them, and sometimes they goad him into doing crazy things. I think that my theory explains much.

2- Murder Ballads is 70% revised. I hit a rough patch this week, but overall I’m still pretty happy with it. My goal is to have the whole damn thing revised and in the hands of my beta readers by WindyCon. I’m also going to be workshopping the first chapter at the con. I wish that I could also send in the second chapter, but that puts the manuscript at 1000 words over the maximum of 7500 words.

3- I am really slogging through the Fluid Links's writing. I’ve reached the point where I have to contact some of the authors for interviews or other requests. The results have been...interesting.

4- The call is out for Chicago TARDIS panel ideas. I’ve been working with the Mad Norwegian on some topics. Feel free to make suggestions.

5- We bought a laser pointer for the cats. Molly enjoys it. I feel really lazy when I use it.

6- This has been my week for beta reading with stuff to critique from [ profile] kelly_swails and [ profile] torresroman. Beta reading is fun, but a bit exhausting. I’m beginning to think that this writing lark might be hard work. ;)


Sep. 21st, 2008 09:59 am
michaeldthomas: (Doctor Venture)
What a strange week it was. The Cubs almost completely distracted me from the near complete collapse of the economy. There's nothing quite like a major American historical moment that's greeted by the general population with total confusion. The decisions made this week will have repercussions for decades, many of which even the smartest economists can't even begin to predict. To be on the safe side, Lynne and I emptied our retirement accounts and reinvested in canned foods and guns.

Our gaming group finally reconvened yesterday. We're playing the new shiny, Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition. So far, I like it. I don't think it's an improvement on 3rd edition, but it certainly has its charms. The biggest change is how each class is now extremely balanced. None of the classes are noticeably superior to the other ones. They made it fairer for players, but a lot of the flavor of each class got lost in the reimagining. There's something wrong with wizards being no more effective than a rogue or ranger.

Another big change for our group was the addition of the Snow's puppy, Eli. Things went well, and Caitlin received a lifetime's worth of puppy kisses.

Since we finished all of our chores yesterday, today is a day of sloth. Other than watching football and keeping Cait alive, all I have to do is critique some manuscripts for a couple of friends.
michaeldthomas: (cubs)
Woo hoo!!!!!!

On national television, against the Cardinals, we won the NL Central.

Bring on the postseason!!!
michaeldthomas: (cubs)
[ profile] mirrorthaw, I am so sorry. The Cubs had no business winning this game.

The Cubs should clinch the NL Central at Wrigley against the Cardinals. This pleases me in so many ways.

Cubs Win

Sep. 16th, 2008 10:09 pm
michaeldthomas: (cubs)
The magic number is 4.
michaeldthomas: (cubs)
Lilly threw a one-hitter. The Magic Number is down to six.

Meanwhile, the Brewers were swept by the Phillies over the weekend. The level-headed Brewers management responded by firing Ned Yost with two weeks left in the season. Perhaps they should have paid a bit more attention when Yost and the club did exactly the same thing at the end of last season.

Of course, this is the same brain trust that was convinced that Eric Gagne was going to have an awesome comeback to his career.
michaeldthomas: (cubs)
Carlos Zambrano just threw the fist Cubs no-hitter of my lifetime. I am so giddy right now, all use of language has left me. It's been such a special season. I actually teared up when he did it.

Big Z had dynamite stuff, and the crowd was filled with true Cubs fans that made the drive to Milwaukee. I felt the great vibe through the TV screen.

I know he can be a goofball, but I always liked him. One of my prize possessions is a signed ball that Big Z donated to Aicardi Syndrome Foundation auction.
michaeldthomas: (Han Solo)
Thoughts from the first half of the week:

1- Our friends Sarah and David had a sad Monday; they had to put down their beloved cat, Ronny. Caitlin and I spent the evening at their house trying to help keep things from getting too morose. Our solution: watching the horrendously bad/unintentionally comic G.I. Joe: The Movie. This was the TV movie that effectively killed the G.I. Joe franchise for 20 years. The gist of the film is that they ret-con everything. The cartoon had been about a special forces military group versus crazy world terrorists. Think S.H.I.E.L.D. versus HYDRA. In this movie, they decided that Cobra Commander was a member of a race of snake people that once ruled the earth like the Silurians on Doctor Who. Now the snake people are back with their odd organic tech trying to mutate humanity. Their battle cry is “COBRA LA LA LA LA LA!” It would be hard for this movie to make less sense. Oh, I almost forgot Don Johnson starring as Lt. Falcon, a rule breaker who discovers the true meaning of being a Joe. Ugh.

2- I posted last year about the cowardly and terrible terrorist attacks of 2001. I know that we all still have strong feelings and emotions about that day and its legacy. I think it’s important that today we try to remember that it was a day that many people lost friends and loved ones in an act of senseless brutality.

3- The Cubs won last night. I am off the ledge for a moment.

4- We watched the first half of the Bond film License to Kill with [ profile] kevinsom. I forgot how awful that film is. It’s like a grim, boring episode of Miami Vice.

5- The writing keeps rolling, and Caitlin still thrives at school. That’s about all I can hope for.

6- Gregory McDonald passed away, one of my favorite authors. His books are a master class in writing dialogue. He will be missed.

Just finished reading- China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh (gorgeous and brilliant)
Currently reading- Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear
michaeldthomas: (cubs)
Tonight, I hate being a Cubs fan.

That is all.
michaeldthomas: (Bears)
The Bears looked great. This is the team we were supposed to have last year. I can't believe what an upgrade Orton and Forte are over Grossman and Benson.

As for the Cubs, I have nothing to say after that stomach-punch loss other than thank you to the Brewers for deciding to suck at the same time.
michaeldthomas: (cubs)
The losing streak is over, but not without some stress in the last couple of innings. We're back to 30 games over .500.

Now we just need Big Z and Hardin to get healthy.

At least we don't have the White Sox's problems.


Aug. 29th, 2008 04:29 pm
michaeldthomas: (cubs)
The Cubs won again. I'm running out of nice things to say. :)


michaeldthomas: (Default)

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