Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Day at Disneyland

Today, in honor of Leap Day (and happy Leap Day to you, by the way), Disney Parks are open for 24 hours offering an extra day of memories and fun. Sadly, I am at work today. But I was at Disneyland on Saturday for Master’s annual Disney Day.

The last couple of years, the park has been fairly dead because it’s been raining up here and threatening to rain down there (one year did have scattered showers, but always while we were in a ride). This year, we’d been having wonderful weather with temps in the lower 80’s. Saturday was only the lower 70’s (on its way down to cold the last couple of days), but the park was still pretty crowded.

The other issue we had was rides closing down on us. At one point, we tried three in a row. The first two were closed and the third shut down while we were part way through the line.

But we still had a great time. I wound up giving a ride to my roommate and his fiancée, which added a bit of time on both ends to pick her up and drop her off. The day started with Angelique and myself. First we added two of her friends from her job. Both of them are from foreign countries and neither had been to Disneyland before. Then we met up with Josh and Beth and her sister and brother-in-law. Finally, Chris and his friend Grace joined us for a little while. Yes, that was group of 10. It was a lot of fun, actually. That lasted for a few hours, and then we split off, Grace and Chris to go home the other group to do their own thing. We ended the day like we started it with just Angelique and me.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get as much done as we would have liked. Part of it was the bigger group, but part of it was the crowds. We didn’t get to Splash Mountain (closed on us twice). Star Tours was never less than an hour wait and the fast pass was a long time out. While we did part of Fantasyland, we never made it to Peter Pan because of the line.

And yet the day was fun. The two newbies in the group seemed to really enjoy themselves. We spent some time on Tom Sawyer Island, and that was fun for something different. And yes, we did get Indiana Jones and Space Mountain in.

Plus, with the discount we get on tickets, it’s hard to complain too much.

Frankly, a bad day at Disney is still a pretty good day. I wish I were enjoy the extra day of magic (or whatever they are calling today) instead of at work. Maybe in four years.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Another Office Move

In the last three years, my office location has moved four times.  First it was to a nice, big office.  It's been to two smaller offices since then.  And today, it was to a cubical.

Now, you have to understand, my entire working life (14 years), I've had my own office.  That's something that surprised me to start with but now I've grown quite used to it.  I listen to music softly all day.  I shut the door to change clothes really quick some times.  And it gives me more room to spread things out.

Now I'm certainly blessed with a large cubical.  I've got more desk space than I used to have.  But I have less storage space for things like financial statements that I'm expected to hold on to.  That part is definitely going to be a problem.

Plus I feel like I have no privacy.  Anyone walking down the hall can see exactly what I am working on.  yes, I have some walls, but I'm pretty much right out in the middle of everyone.

On the plus side, I still have a window.  I can't tell you how happy that makes me.

Hopefully, I will adjust to this over the next few weeks.  But for right now, I'm definitely not a happy camper.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

10 Years

It was 10 years ago today that I made my first post on this blog.  Hardly seems possible.

I remember at the time, I wondered just how long I'd be posting at this site.  I've never been a regular journal writer, so I thought I might give it up rather quickly.  But I've stuck with it.  And actually, I've found I like having a way to go back and figure out when something happened.

After all, for a while I timed life events by where I was living.  But since I've been in my condo for 8 and a half years now, that gets fuzzy.  Yes, even with the succession of roommates I've had.  But with way, I can pin point exactly when something happened.

Of course, since this is public, I am a little more careful about what I share.  I know, I only have a couple of regular readers, but I would hate for someone to see this and be hurt by something I posted, even years later.  I realize this creates some confusion at times, but that's the way it has to be.

At times, I've tried to change the focus of the blog slightly, but I always come back to it being more of a journal.  You can see my evolution of interests as the years go by.  I know I'd get more interest if I stuck to one topic, but I'm not sure if I have enough to say on any one topic to make a regular blog of it.

And so it reflects my life, lots of different interests.  And that's how I want to keep it.

If you are reading this and have stuck with me for some time, thank you.  I do love the comments I get from friends or strangers, a couple of whom have become friends.

So I don't intend to give it up any time soon.  Here's to another 10.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Weekly TV Recap for February 25th

The Amazing Race - I felt so sorry for the team that got eliminated.  To be so close and yet miss Phil.  And then Phil was rubbing it in at the end, which is not fair at all.  That would totally be me if I were on the show, too, I just know it.

Once Upon a Time - How can James be so noble and brave and David be such a wimp?  Part of the curse or is facing monsters easier than facing an emotional scene.  I'm wondering if Belle has a cell mate now and that's where Kathryn is.  All told, not quite as good as last week but still an interesting episode.

Castle - I was enjoying the episode until it was over.  Then I started to wonder what happened to some key plot points from the first episode, like who the first victim was and how Gage got out of the precinct and knew the body would disappear.  I think this is one of those that you can't think about it or it all falls apart.

White Collar - I think Mozzie just gave it away the FBI's presence with his attitude at the end.  But I'm wondering what Neal will do if he is freed.  Will he go straight or will he return to the con.  I can't quite decide, but I don't think he knows yet.  Next week is going to be very interesting.

Ringer - I think this is the first time I've felt sorry for Siobhan.  What happened with Sean (and I'm glad we finally know) was tragic.  I can see how it messed up everyone's lives.  And yet it was indeed an accident.  I was completely mislead from the previews.  I thought Siobhan and Bridget would come face to face in the present and not in a flashback.  Meanwhile, with the step-daughter, I knew Mr. C didn't beat the other girl up.  I didn't figure out the mother was behind this until the phone call, but now it puts her actions from the last few episodes, including wanting the daughter to come live with her, in a completely different perspective.

Royal Pains - Have I mentioned how much I love Paige and Evan together?  They are just so sweet.  This trip to England had better not be breaking them up.  And speaking of which, they'd better not be breaking up HankMed permanently.  That's quite the interesting ending.  And I really did feel sorry for Hank as he was grieving Jack while trying not to grieve.  I loved the scene on the golf course.

Survivor - You can not form a firm alliance too early in the game.  If you do, you wind up voting out better players to save your alliance when you need to be working as a team.  Don't play as an individual until you actually reach the merged tribes stage.  And the women are being the perfect example of that.  Meanwhile, the gay guy is an idiot for not even trying to get along with his team mates.  Unfortunately, that idol seems to be giving him power, at least for now.  Hopefully, that won't last.

Wipeout - It would be nice if someone I was rooting for would actually win again.  I really wanted the Charlie Sheen look alike (not that I saw it) to win.  Definitely rooting against the light bulb guy.

Big Bang Theory - I'm not remembering the story of Penny they were talking about.  Overall, very funny episode from start to finish.  Penny beating Leonard at Chess was priceless.  And the bongos were a riot.

New TV on DVD Reviews:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Running Discovery

I've actually been planning to post about this for a few weeks and I keep forgetting.

A month ago, my friend Chris gave me his old GPS watch since he'd bought a new one.  I was thrilled because that meant I would finally clock my running route and see how long it actually was.

Turns out that 3 mile hill run I do most of the time when I run is actually 3.3 miles.  Which means when I do it twice, like I am once a week, I'm actually running 6.6 miles.

Okay, so it seems like I am now more tired about the two loop circute than I used to be, but that still makes me very happy.  It means I am half way to the half marathon distance and it's still six months away.  Hopefully, this will give me a good base when I start increasing my mileage.  I'm going to go to 7 in March and then a mile a month from there.  I hope that works better for me than adding a mile a week in a panic like I did last year when I was trying to train for Tough Mudder.  Heck, I'm already ahead of the game as long as I keep this up.

I just might turn into a runner yet.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Word Association for February 23rd

I know, I missed word association last week.  But here it is this week.

  1. Crown :: King
  2. Landmark :: Decision
  3. Shock :: Awe
  4. Affair :: Married
  5. Appear :: Disappear
  6. Contemplate :: Think
  7. Hinge :: Door
  8. Function :: Properly
  9. Obstinate :: Stubborn
  10. Fulfill :: Happy

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I Need Sleep

You know how I can tell I need sleep?  Because I lose all patience.  That's always the first thing to go.

Part of it is my lack of self-control.  I think I'm getting ready for bed early, and I hop on the internet really quickly and next thing I know an hour has gone by.  Or I'm staying out late doing things with friends.

But part of it is that I am having trouble sleeping.  If I do make it to bed early, I can't fall asleep.  And on the rare occassions when I can sleep in, I wake up at my normal time.

It's not like I'm not getting any sleep.  I'm getting 5 to 6 hours a night.  But I would really like to be getting closer to 7.  And I take a 20 minute nap most days on my lunch hour.

Maybe tonight I'll get to bed earlier.  We'll just have to see.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Weekly TV Recap for February 18th

Once Upon a Time - Since I love Beauty and the Beast, I loved this episode and all the nods to the Disney version.  Casting Rumplestiltskin as the beast was very interesting and really allowed us a chance to get to know him better.  He's still a villain, but he's a more complete villain now.  Meanwhile, I was interested to finally have it confirmed that he does know who he really is and know about the curse.  That's going to make things much more interesting going forward.

Castle - Alexis working for Lanie.  That's an interesting twist I hope they keep for more than one episode or the two parter.  And was it just me, or did we never find out who the first victim was?  Watching Beckett in full on jealous mode was a hoot.  I can't wait to see how this all concludes.

Ringer - Things just keep heating up.  Shoban is still lying through her teeth.  Yes, Bridget is lying, too, but she's only lying about who she is.  And Bridget tracking down the last few days of Shoban's life has given us new places to go, too.  And the rape story?  I never saw that coming.  I hope they do more with the fact that this was all about getting the money and not about anything else.  Oh yeah, and I'm wondering if Olivia is really the one stealing funds but setting Andrew up to take the fall.  At least I hope that's what's going on.

Royal Pains - I do believe that was a first - a patient dying.  And now it makes more sense why we've seen so much of Jack, so we would feel something when he dies.  Meanwhile, I was thrilled to see Boris again and get a bit more of that story.  And Divya paying off her debt brings her story for the season to a close.

Survivor - You know, I was kind of expecting the two tribes to build one shelter and cooperate.  Shows how wrong I can be.  I will tell you this, even if that were the case, I am with the guys - don't complete the challenge, take the victory.  Why the women expected anything different is beyond me.  Completely with the guys and it wasn't poor sportsmanship of unchivalrous or anything like that.  But boy there are lots of huge egos that need to be brought down a peg or twenty before the game is over.

Big Bang Theory - The return of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock!  Okays, so they didn't really play it, but still.  I felt like they didn't really resolve anything since Sheldon still has the crazy office and Penny still has the painting, but I loved the journey.  Playing basketball was a classic.  Turns out I'm not the worst person ever at that game.  Great episode.  And I suddenly realized that the president was Brandi's fiancee from In Plain Sight.  I wonder if he'll be back over there for the final few episodes.

Wipeout - Yeah, I watched it.  Or semi-watched it.  That's really about all I have to say about it.

Nikita - Carla, Carla, Carla.  I know you mean well.  At least I think you mean well.  But Percy is just as dangerous and duplicitous as Amanda.  You can't trust him.  Trust Nikita and her team.  At least she was talked out of putting Alex in more danger, which is a good sign.  And how cool was Birkhoff holding a gun?  Definitely looking forward to the next episodes, whenever it turns out to be.

New TV on DVD Reviews:
Once Upon a Time - First 5 Episodes   

Friday, February 17, 2012

Trampoline Dodge Ball

I had a new experience last night.  I tried trampoline dodge ball.  And I really enjoyed it.

First, let me explain.  When I was on youth staff at church, I played dodge ball a lot, usually with volleyballs.  I grew tired of it quickly.  And I've never been a super fan of trampolines.  And yet when Chris invited me to try a combo of the two, I was intrigued enough that I had to give it a shot.

It turned out to be lots of fun.  There were around 10 of us playing.  The balls they used were so soft it didn't actually hurt when I got hit in the face.  And I found bouncing on the trampoline to be quite fun.  I would have absolutely loved it had I not been worried about my knee, which has been bugging me off and on since my run on the beach.  But it's doing great today, so I didn't need to worry about it.

It took me a little time to warm up to the game, but once I did it was hard to leave when the place closed.

Of course, my aim still stunk.  If they'd been Frisbee, I would have been amazing!

Speaking of throwing, I can't believe how soar my arm is today.  That's the only part that really is, but oh man I'm shocked.  It's been getting worse as the day goes on, too, so we'll see how playing ultimate tomorrow goes.

The one thing that was annoying was two guys, an employee and his friend, who would keep going back out there in the middle of a round to rejoin a team while those of us who were already out waiting on the sidelines for that round to be over.

On the other hand, there was none of the "get back in" rules that made it so confusing at youth group, so I definitely liked that aspect of things.

All told, it was a fun day.  Since it's an hour away, I don't know how often I'll be going out to play, but I'd certainly consider it again.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Visiting Family

No, no, I wasn’t out of town to visit my family recently.  They were through town.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned that my brother is changing jobs and moving back to our home town (along with his family obviously).  They and Mom and Dad have spent this week driving them and their stuff from one location to another.  Due to the cold weather, they took a longer, more southern route and wound up here in town.

So I took yesterday off work.  Yes, I could have gone into work in the afternoon, but I decided to spend the afternoon running, napping, and reading.  It was wonderful.

But even better was the morning.  I got some time to visit with Mom and Dad before the rest of them were up.  And then I got some time with my niece!  Okay, so everyone else was there, but it was fun.  She smiled so big when she saw me.  Yes, Uncle Mark is completely smitten with her.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have much more than a couple hours together because they needed to get on the road so they could reach home last night.  But it was still a great morning.  I’m thankful for bad weather so they had to come through town and their willingness to leave late so they could spend a little time with me.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Running Pier to Pier

Two years ago when I was training for my first Camp Pendleton Mud Run, I got the idea to go to Santa Monica for a run along the beach.  I found out that the distance between Santa Monica Pier and the Venice Pier and back was roughly 6 miles.  (I read 5.7 this weekend.)  Naturally, I decided that would be a blast to run.  Head down there in my mud run clothes and when I get hot, take a break and jump in the water.  Sort of a mud run on the beach.

But that never worked out in 2010.  Or 2011.  But I did it Saturday!

Actually, it all started when I was planning to do my long run on Friday night or Saturday morning.  Also on the docket was a trip down to Redondo Beach to get the latest from Sue Ann Jaffarian.  The weather was so nice on Thursday and Friday it made me want to be outside.  And suddenly, I got to thinking I could go do the run then.

Granted, I debated long and hard about it.  Firstly, I’m indecisive.  Secondly, it was supposed to be cooler on Saturday.  But I decided to go for it.

And it was cooler.  It was around 60 degrees.  While I did jump in the water at the end, but just let my feet splash through the water until then.

I didn’t quite do the pier to pier run.  I knew of a metered lot part way down where I could park for much cheaper since I was only there for the run.  So I started in the middle, ran to Venice, did the entire distance to Santa Monica, and then back to where I started.  Okay, I did a little extra to say I ran 6 miles (although I didn’t clock it so I don’t know if I actually made 6 miles or not).

And it was so much fun.  Yes, I ran barefoot.  I think part of it was I was doing something I wanted to do for a while.  And part of it was I was running some place different instead of my normal, familiar loop which can get a little boring.

I thought my legs would be killing me afterwards, but they aren’t that bad.  The back of one knee bothered me during ultimate yesterday, but that was it.  Unfortunately, there was a part of that same leg that killed me when I tried to go for a run this morning, but it was fine for a walk.  Hopefully, it will be fine for running Wednesday.

Also, unfortunately, it look longer than it should have to get to the signing when I finished the run, so I got there late but still in time to chat with the authors and get Sue Ann’s latest autographed.

All told, it was a great day.  And I'm hoping to do it again sometime when it's warming so I can jump in the ocean along the way - maybe make it part of a longer day at the beach.  Who knows of that will happen or not, but for now I've done that much.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Weekly TV Recap for February 11th

Castle - I had wondered if they'd be able to pull off the dual mysteries in two time periods, but they did it perfectly and kept me interested in both.  Yes, it was an excuse to get Castle and Beckett to kiss, but it was still lots of fun and pretty funny.

White Collar - So we finally got to see Sara again.  And I wonder where this FBI agent is going to go with the hearing coming up.  Frankly, I wasn't that impressed with the Peter story involving his in-laws, although it once again gave Mozzie some great lines.  I need to hire his writers for my life so I can come up with those great one liners.

Ringer - Shoban has finally told someone what's going on.  Now what's going to happen to Bridgett?  Is she about to get turned in?  What kind of danger is she going to be in from the ex FBI agent?  What's going to happen when she goes back to Paris?  Or will she even make it back there?  And I was kind of expecting the storyline with the daughter to head in this direction.  I'll be interested to see how they play that.

Royal Pains - So does this mean we've seen the last of Paige this season?  And if she's gone the rest of the summer, what about next season since it looks like summer is only half over?  I truly hope they aren't going to break them up.  I love Evan and Paige together.  In other news, the golfer is an idiot but makes for a great storyline and the stuff going on around the play was quite fun.

Wipeout - So, I wonder if they changed the rules on the third round because only one woman was looking like she'd finish.  And they changed how they do things in the Wipeout Zone and the woman of the second team didn't even have to go.  Interesting.

Big Bang Theory - Sheldon on vacation driving Amy crazy.  What's not to love?  Although I am wondering why Bernadette and Howard have invitations if they don't have a date yet, or did I misunderstand that part.  I was expecting a May wedding for sweeps, but it sounds like he'll be in space instead.  Interesting.

Nikita - Definitely not as intense as the last two episodes, but it got really intriguing half way through.  So how did this woman from Nikita's past create Division?  And what did she do to make Amanda so angry?  I'm ready for the next one already.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Too Early Review Request

Last week I got quite a few review requests, so I have enough fodder for another couple weeks.  This week they stopped coming.  Maybe they realized I would be mocking them so backed off?

This week's example is a little hard to describe because it's all given over to plot teaser, and I'm not trying to make these obvious who sent them.

The book is aimed at kids who play video games.  Again, not my normal reading material, although I am trying to read more kids books than I used to right now.  I find them quite fun.

But here's the thing.  The book being advertised doesn't come out until May.  That's great - plenty of lead time if you want to request a copy for review.  But it never offers a copy for review.  The author does hope I will choose to review it for my readers, whoever they might be.  Doesn't reference my Amazon reviews, so this is an even more generic form letter than I normally get.

And if you aren't going to offer a free review copy (which you certainly don't have to do), then wait until closer to when the book is released or else it will be completely forgotten by the time the book does come out.

It's too bad because for free I might have actually been interested in this one.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Two Weeks of Bowling

Despite the idea to cut back to bowling only every other week, I've gone bowling the last two Wednesdays.  Why?  Well, because yesterday was my former roommate Daniel's birthday, and he wanted to go bowling again.

Both weeks were fun.  Last week was the typical crowd.  One game was close, but for the most part I was well in the lead.

Last night, however, was a different matter.  My roommate Spencer was on fire.  I was a few points behind him on a couple games and ahead of him for a few frames once, but he won all seven games we played, most of them pretty handily.

And you know what, last night was a blast.  I'm good friends with everyone who was there (including a total of two former roommates).  It was a night to be silly and let off some steam.  With as little sleep as I've been getting I shouldn't have stayed out so late, but it was a huge stress release that I really needed and enjoy.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Word Association for February 8th

Let's do this week's word association, shall we?

  1. Conditions :: Changing
  2. Transfer :: Money
  3. August :: Summer!
  4. Glasses :: Reading
  5. Crown :: King
  6. Release :: Date
  7. Incriminating :: Evidence
  8. Island :: Paradise
  9. Manners :: Good
  10. Sentence :: Structure

Monday, February 06, 2012

My January Reads

Here are the books I read in January.  Links will take you to my full review at Epinions.

All ratings are on a scale from 1 (bad) to 5 (great).

Presley Parker is hosting a vampire party in a graveyard to celebrate the completion of filming on a vampire spoof movie.  But when a body appears the morning of the party, she begins to wonder if there is a connection between the victim and one of her guests.  I like Parker and find these books fun.

One of two rereads of old favorites this month.  Trixie's cousin is in town for a visit, but Trixie is distracted by the wheelchair that appears and disappears along Glen Road.  Meanwhile, a woman no one knows is trying to get invited to the wedding of Jim's cousin.  While one sub-plot falls flat, I enjoy this great mystery that uses all the characters well and actually keeps them in character.  A great start to the second half of the series.

Stella and Nick Buckley have traded in life in New York City for a small town in Vermont.  But when they arrive at their new home, they find a dead man in their well.  Since they can't move in until the murder is solved, they dig in to catch the killer themselves.  I enjoyed this debut, especially the main characters.  Unfortunately, I felt the momentum in the beginning was slowed down by back story that could have been slipped in better later.

It'd been too long since I had visited this old friend.  In this book, the newly remarried Mrs. Pollifax sets off to Hong Kong to find out why one of Carstairs' informants has started sending him bogus information.  Naturally, she is quickly in over her head.  The formula is intact, although the finale of the book is very dark for the series (though not for a spy novel) and a bit rushed.

The second in a kid's mystery series that combines steampunk and Sherlock Holmes.  Griffin and his uncle have raced home to see what has happened to his parents only to almost be killed as soon as they've arrived.  Why?  The answer lies back in London and may lead to the end of the world as we know it.  I was enjoy this book despite some over writing until I hit the climax which was a cheap way to end things.  Not a bad book, but a disappointing finish.

Monk and Natalie are off to Summit, New Jersey, to help new police chief Randy Disher gain a handle on the string of burglaries plaguing the normally quiet town.  This book is an absolute treat for fans of the TV show and Lee's novels based on them because of what he does with the characters.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Weekly TV Recap for February 4th

Once Upon a Time - You know, this one had me feeling sorry for Regina for a few minutes.  How her husband was treating her to her face (going on about his first wife) was crazy on his part.  And I thought she was really falling for the Genie.  Then we found out it was all part of her plan all along.  Meanwhile, I can't believe Emma was stupid enough to fall for the "evidence" she and Sidney were finding.  I wonder how long it will be before she catches on to the fact that he is playing her.

White Collar - While I love Neal and Peter's relationship, Elizabeth and Mozzie are my favorite "couple," so you can imagine how much I loved this episode.  It was so much fun, and I was laughing at so much of it.  Definitely felt some Rear Window inspirations, but it was so much fun.

Ringer - It was so good to have this show back.  Sibohn being in New York is certainly going to make things interesting.  And I wonder what is really happening with the step daughter.  I don't know how they can make this show more complicated every week, but I like it.

Royal Pains - I knew I recognized the female doc, but I couldn't figure out who she was until I saw a tweet earlier.  How great was it to see Joanna Garcia in a fun role like that.  I'm surprised they've kept Tom Cavineia around so long.  I wonder where they are going with his story.  I liked how had Hank realized that some of Evan's ideas were good while Evan realized just what Hank brings to the table.  Plus I loved how he actually figured out a medical condition.  Okay, so it was the car, but still, a nice touch.

Big Bang Theory - That wasn't quite as funny as I thought it would be, but I still enjoyed it.  I knew Howard would get the worst astronaut name ever.  Actually, I'd forgotten about that storyline.  But Leonard and Sheldon breaking apart the roommate agreement was a nice change.  I knew Sheldon wouldn't learn anything from it, but his attempts to live life without Leonard was enjoyable.

Wipeout - Yes, I watched it, but I really don't think I have any comments on it.  Well there is one thing.  Has it really been on for 5 years?  If so, that probably explains why I'm getting tired of it.  Especially since it's now on 9 months out of the year instead of just 3.

Nikita - I'm glad I have this show still on Friday nights to help me get over Chuck.  Yes, this one is much more serious, but it's still amazing.  Just look at tonight.  Things got worse and worse and worse until our heroes were finally able to save the day.  I knew they would, but holy cow I didn't know how.  And just when it looks like things might get better, Amanda goes and reveals she's working for someone who works for that Russian guy.  Yes, I think they've just set up the bigger arch for the rest of the season.  Meanwhile, with Percy on the lose, Nikita will have her hands full.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Review Requests I Get

I've started getting so many requests to review books thanks to my reviews at Amazon that I thought I would share some of the funnier ones here occasionally.  (I think I did this once or twice in the past, but this might become a regular feature).  These seem to have increased recently thanks to the self-publishing capabilities of Amazon.  So here's the first (and the real inspiration.)

The e-mail starts out like this.


First of all, I want to thank you if you reviewed one of my previous novels [Name of books removed] I recognize that reviewing a novel is a very personal adventure, in addition to being taxing on your time and patience. If the experience of reviewing one of my novels was not unpleasant, then I am happy to offer a new novel for review. It is always my desire to offer a PDF to review, but I understand the need for a physical book in hand and gladly oblige such a request. I am also open to author interviews and giveaways.

Now I don't mind getting a form letter.  Most of them are.  However, there are some serious things that made me laugh here.

First, he doesn't even bother targetting this to those who have reviewed a novel previously or not.  Instead, it is so impersonal that he thanks those who have "if you have."  Way to make sure it sounds like a spam e-mail.  I know if I had reviewed a previous book, it would make me feel so appreciated.  Since I haven't, I'm okay with it.

Usually, a review request will mention seeing my profile at Amazon, so at least they are targetting me because of that.  Here, it sounds like he is hitting me up for promotion on my blog.  How many author interviews and giveaways have you seen around here?  That's what I thought.

Dude, at least write two or three different form letters and target them better.

Here's the thing.  I recognized the name.  I've ignored him in the past (most of the time, these just go in the trash).  So maybe you need to try a different approach with people who have ignored you.

I won't share the plot synopsis, but let's just say that it sounds boring except for a mention of zombies.

Yes, this appears to be a zombie novel.  How, let's talk about targetting again.  How many zombie novels and movies have I talked about here?  0.  Guess how many that means I've read.  You guessed it.  So again, why are you sending me a request when I've ignored you in the past and you write something I don't normally read?

E-mail is certainly cheaper than regular mail, but it opens us up to more junk like this which obviously really doesn't apply to me.  But I get a laugh out of it and move on.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Word Association for February 1st

Let's kick off the new month with this week's word association.

  1. Every day :: Routine
  2. Rinsed :: Washed
  3. Funeral :: Sad
  4. Whitening :: Teeth
  5. I am :: God
  6. Cooperate :: Get Along
  7. Blazer :: Suit
  8. Valley :: Mountain
  9. Difficult :: Project
  10. Service :: Church