Friday, 31 January 2014

A Not So Good, Not So Bad Week

Ignore the title, I've had a pretty bad week. But not really, as you can see by the fact I'm still alive. Who really knows? Last week I was all "I'm gonna go to the gym at least once a week." and this week, while I did walk into town on Monday and burned off a fair number of calories, I have not hit the gym once. I've barely done anything. This includes sleeping which is the major cause of the problem. I've barely slept and therefore barely had the energy to do anything.

I've barely written, I've barely exercised, I've barely done anything other than pass my time by doing anything but things I should. This makes it more difficult to just pass the time too. I've finally reached that state where I feel guilty about not doing anything. I've reached that point where when I don't have anything to do, it's because I know I should be doing something more productive like writing. I don't even know if The Beast is released yet which sucks too because it's the actual end of the month and I don't think there's been any word. I'll drop the guy a line and see how it goes.

I hope next week goes better. It better had really, seeing how I don't have an excuse to walk into town next week. That really saved my ass as far as exercising goes. Maybe when I have the time I'll write a post about that one. Exercise has managed to become pretty integral to my weight loss. I assure you it's more than that one sentence.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Illuminati Want Me

I was going to do a nice podcast on my brand new desk about the greatness of desk ownership, but I got sick and barely slept, and I don't have my new desk yet. Expect that some time. For now let me regale you with a tale of something that happened to me just last week.

I had a lot of comments awaiting moderation because I have it set that comments made on posts older than a few days need to be moderated. I also never actually moderated said comments, so there was a stockpile of about fifty comments. There was also some spam that I had to sort through, a fair chunk of which wasn't actually spam. That's when I noticed this;

It's pretty hard to make out but if I made it any bigger it would end up being a lot more difficult. That's three comments in a row telling me to join the Illuminati online. Three. So as you can see, the Illuminati really want me, and I want traffic so I'm going to say the word Illuminati as much as I can. That way, anyone who searches Illuminati will find themselves here, on this post about the Illuminati.

To be honest I don't actually know much about the Illuminati. The only thing I really know for sure is that they supposedly control the world from the shadows. This actually makes them my enemies as I'm supposed to be the ruler of the world. I'm going to control it quite openly though, and not from the shadows at all.

Unlike those pussies.

Monday, 27 January 2014

I Hacked My Own Computer

A while back I decided to let one of my nieces use one of my old laptops. If I'm honest I actually have three laptops. It's been quite a while since I broke one. I tended to buy a new one when an old one died, as I tend to break them pretty quickly.A laptop lasts, on average, about six months. My really old one, the one the niece has, is in pretty bad shape. It's slow and I'm surprised it runs at all. It's probably highly damaged on a software level. The fan is kind of damaged too. Maybe it's just that old and technology has really come a long way since I bought it. I don't really buy that one though. I used to let all three kids use it and then I let the eldest take it home with her after she broke my dad's old laptop. Not my smartest move I know. But I'd get stupider.

In preparation for her having main control over it, I changed the password on the admin account so that she could use it at home, and the other kids could still use the monitored kids account. I thought I changed the password to her name but I didn't. I tried several variations and everything I thought the password was, and I still couldn't log on. I forgot my own password. I didn't create a password reset drive which meant there was only one option left open to me; I had to hack my own computer.

It was much easier than I thought it would be. All I really had to do was create a Ubuntu boot disc and load up Ubuntu. It turns out I messed that up too...I downloaded the Ubuntu ISO and then, rather than write it to a disc, I burned it. Another disc later I had my boot disc. I loaded it up, loaded up Ubuntu, and then had to access the windows hard drive through Ubuntu. I changed the names of a few files and then restarted the computer, back to Windows. The changes I made meant that when I loaded up the Ease of Access options on the login screen, I actually opened up the command prompt. From there, one quick command changed my password and I was able to log back in.

Now I just need to remember this password. I guess if I don't I know what to do, and I still have the Ubuntu disc.

Friday, 24 January 2014

The Diet Itself

After yesterdays post about just how much weight I'd lost I thought I'd use today to talk about the diet itself that I'm undertaking. You see, taking two days to say something and having some kind of mini storyline is pretty much the only way I can keep this thing going. Well anyway, dieting. It's easy.

No, seriously. It's easy. Too damn easy.

The "diet" that I'm on is the only kind that actually works outside of an all fruit diet, which is just dangerous to your health. As well as the no carb diet that my friend is currently on. That just sounds brutal and I have no idea how she's done it for so long. So anyway, I'm on a calorie controlled diet. This means that I have to track what food I eat and as long as it doesn't go over a certain limit, then it's fine for me to eat. Pizza? Eaten. Pie? Eaten. Chips? (home fries for my friends from the Colonies) Eaten. Why just yesterday I had a BLT and today I plan on having pizza again as I watch the last episodes of Star Trek The Next  Generation.

The only time I've ever really felt like I'm missing out is when it comes to some of the higher fat things like pizza and take out. I wanted to have a cheat day and eat actual take out pizza with my Star Trek, but decided I really couldn't do that. But there are low(er) fat versions of just about everything out there if you know where to look.

So the next time someone tells you their diet is tough, laugh as you eat pizza and tell them that you eat less than 1600 calories a day eating pizza. Then watch as they cry.

Seriously though, eat some fruit too. I am eating much much better and eating a lot more fruit and vegetables too. My nutritionist also knows exactly what I eat, as she has access to my food tracking, and didn't tell me off for any of this. If it falls into the parameters, it's acceptable.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Weight Loss

On Monday I went to my doctor with one simple task in mind; to get myself weighed and see how I was doing. Technically she's a nutritionist and not a doctor too. I refer to her by her first name rather than "doctor". Well I suppose I won't keep you in suspense any longer;

I lost seven pounds. If you want a conversion into your system I'm afraid you'll have to do it yourself. This is pretty cool if I do say so myself. The goal was to lose ten pounds as I'm on a plan where I would lose 2 pounds a week, and I get weighed every five weeks. The past five weeks also included Christmas so my nutritionist/dietician/whatever she is was pretty pleased with that result too. That's also with barely any exercise. She wants me to kick in some exercise this month and just yesterday I went to the gym. I plan on going more as well. At least once a week for now and more if I feel up to it further down the line.

They also have several different martial art/self defence classes at my gym. They have two or three different kids of kickboxing and even some jiu-jitsu. I think once I'm down to a more respectable weight and I'm feeling a little better about myself, let's say once I hit 250, I'll join one of those programs. When I was younger I did Tae-Kwon-Do and to be honest I'm not entirely sure why I stopped. I'll need to feel better about myself before going back somewhere like that though. Let's not forget that the reason I stopped going back to the gym in the first place was a semi-self defence class. It was something that combined fitness with martial arts and I did so poorly that I felt all the previous workouts for naught, and I hadn't changed at all. That thought was so depressing it kept me away from the gym, and I don't want to go through something like that again.

For now, diet, then diet and exercise, then learning to kick ass.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Rewrites

My Immortal Space rewrites are going pretty well right now. Well, I think they are anyway. Despite a complete lack of energy lately due to sleep problems I've managed to rewrite what I feel is about 3/7's of the story that's written so far. It's more than a quarter, but not quite a half. If we're getting specific then I'm on page 87 out of 216 with more page breaks left to go before I'm done. It's at 70k words and I expect it to get up to about 100k by the time I'm done. I might have to tone it down a bit after that but my publisher has the right to edit my work. So he can do that if he wants to.

I noticed there were actually a few plot holes too as I was going through. One major one is that when Trent takes Jeff into space for the first time, he asked Jeff why he was nervous when he'd been in the ship before. In my head, I had Trent take Jeff to the hospital in the ship, but I never actually wrote it into the story. They would walk to the hospital and leave the ship at the shipyard. I've fixed that now of course. There were a few other things here and there which should hopefully be fixed now.

I've found that, as it always is with editing, I've found myself adding to things and not taking away. I'm just not very good at cutting things. I try my best to make sure that everything contributes in some way and never feel that something is, or could be, unnecessary. The Beast (which is so far still unreleased) is kinda like that. I can't really explain why without giving a lot away, but everything in the story contributes a lot to the finale.

I think these rewrites are going to take another few weeks and then it'll be a month or two until I'm really done with it. For now though, I have to go to the doctor's today to get weighed and see how my diet went.

More on that on Thursday.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Honesty

I have found that I barely ever, if ever, lie. I think part of me just isn't really capable of it. There have been a few times of course but for the most part I am an exceptionally honest person. I don't try and hide things either. It just sorta happens. I have to say that I highly encourage this as it comes with a number of perks. There's at least one anyway.

People will believe anything you say.

If you've ever had a really strange situation happen that sounds like a totally stupid and made up excuse, then people will buy it. Excuses sound like excuses, and always will. If you've never given anyone reason to doubt what you say though, then there's a very very good chance they'll believe you. Remember that one time your dog really DID eat your homework? Then it puked it out and your cat ate it? No teacher would believe that unless you were already totally honest and up front about things before. Not that I ever did my homework. At least I told my teachers outright that I never did it. They didn't like me for that.

Seriously, be honest. It generally is the best policy.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Immortal Space Is Back

It seems my plans to make podcasting a regular thing again didn't really last too long. Sometimes I just don't have ideas until it's too late. Sometimes I never get those ideas. Well anyway, one idea I did get was to relaunch Immortal Space this past Tuesday. It was an idea I followed through on and did. Immortal Space is indeed back on my other blog.

It may see the light of day here when I find myself having absolutely no other ideas but I do think it'll stay on that side of things overall. I'd like to keep the two things separate as this is more of a personal place, and the other place is for my writing. I've also made it clear from the get go that I'm not going to publish the entire thing. I'm going to publish until right about where we left off before and then get the document finished up, possibly revised again, and then released. It's in my publishing contract that they'll take care of editing but you know me, I'm going to do it myself. It's more that they reserve the right to edit things anyway.

As much as I'd like to drag this thing out some more I don't think I can. I don't think there's anything else to be said about it. Immortal Space is back up, and updates are due every Tuesday and Wednesday. They'll also be longer than before. I'm combining updates into actual chapters and posting actual chapters there. So be prepared for reading.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Posting Immortal Space

I know I said on Friday that I planned to start posting Immortal Space again on my other blog as early as tomorrow but now that I've thought about it, I'm not so sure I can. Allow me to elaborate. I think I can post Immortal Space again; fact is I could do it very easily, I'm just not sure how much of it I could post you see.

I could post the rewritten chapters but I don't think I could get any farther into it than I already got to. When we left Immortal Space it was right before the final arc of the story. Trent and Jeff were off on an adventure to liberate Lena's planet and I fully intended for that to be it. I don't want to give away too much of course but if that story has an ultimate main villain, then it's the guy who's running things there.

I would feel like too much of a douche if I posted up until that point and then stopped again, yet at the same time I can't publish the whole thing online. I'm free to publish excerpts of something for promotional purposes as per my publishing agreement but I don't think that covers the entire work. Even if I wasn't on that publishing deal I would question the logic of posting something for free online and then trying to charge people for it. It's why when webcomics and other such things release stuff you can find online on their site, they also throw in exclusive things.

I should see the rewritten version as that exclusive thing. Things progress a little differently in that version and, most of all, it'll have a definitive end. So, really, I'm not so sure I can post Immortal Space again. Which would really be quite a big shame in my opinion because I did make several reassurances that I was going to bring it back, and even set a date this time.

I don't even know really. As I said, it seems like it would be a jerk move to only post some of it, and I don't think I could post all of it. I feel bad not posting any of it, but it seems like an adequate solution. The unedited and original version is still on this site, and I still have a tab leading to them.

I'm also open to suggestions and ideas. If you people are cool with me only posting some of it, then I'll be happy to do that. I'm most likely worrying about something I have no reason to be worrying about. I probably have plenty of actual concerns I need to be worried about too.

Friday, 10 January 2014

A Wild Podcast Appeared

What's that? A podcast? Here? Yeah right...oh it's real? Well then let's get on with it.

 It's been about a month and a half since I last posted a podcast but I'm back. Kinda. I have a new episode at least. Hopefully it won't take me a month and a half to make another one. In this episode I talk about my recent exploits with a publisher and also have a sort of release date for my latest written exploit The Beast. Enjoy!
A link to the episode in case it doesn't shop up in the post. It didn't show up in the editor or preview; http://ramblingperson.podbean.com/2014/01/09/publishers-gonna-publish/

I can also follow up on a few of the random tidbits; Yes my friend's new package arrived safe and sound. I guess someone was just stealing stuff for Christmas. Also yes, the publisher liked what they read of Immortal Space and asked me to continue writing it, which I have. I think I'll post the first chunk next Tuesday.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

There Are No Breaks On The Blog Tour

Hello loyal readers. Well, Mark’s loyal readers anyway. My name is Addman and I run a humour Blog called Muppets For Justice.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “What has he done with Mark? Is he trying to usurp him and steal his Blog? Has he locked Mark in a septic tank and is keeping him sustained solely on fish flakes?” Well, that would be a legitimate question, and one that I have prepared a fully robust response to should the police get involved. But for now, you’re stuck with me.

So, why am I here? Well, since Mark is a well-respected writer and generally nice guy, I figured this would make a great stop on my current Blog Tour. I’m touring to promote my book, which is also called Muppets For Justice and available on Amazon now. It’s a comedy book full of short articles that have been scientifically adjusted to produce optimum moisture release within your undergarments. The book contains some of the best stuff available on my Blog, plus a whole wedge of new, never before seen material. Think of it as a greatest hits album, with tons of B sides and unreleased songs.

In order to give you a taster, here’s an excerpt to give you an idea of what to expect. This is taken from a short story called “Espionage”, where the central character awakes in captivity with no idea as to what is going on:

Have you ever wondered how difficult it would be to breathe with a bag over your head? Neither had I, but there I was, greedily sucking fresh wisps of air through the hessian like someone was slowly pouring honey on me through a sieve.

I couldn’t remember why I was here. I couldn’t see anything, which was just as well because I think I was naked and tied to a chair. Perhaps it was best not see the person or persons who were holding me captive. I struggled slightly against my bonds as I tried to unstick my clammy buttocks from the chair underneath, failing spectacularly and instead sitting on my own left nut.

Before I could correct this terrible wrong, an alarming wave of ice water was thrown all over me, making the hairs on my arms and legs ping off in state of shock. I began to gasp as my mouth filled with unwelcome, freezing liquid. My senses had barely recovered when I heard a guy shout “wake up!”

I’m already awake, you fucking bastard!” I calmly replied.

With that, the bag was ripped off my head and my world was filled with light once more. Well, as much light as you can get in a leaky basement. At first I thought I’d been tricked into parlour with Uncle Peter again, but I didn’t recognise the two burly guys in suits and shades. I doubted that these two would hang out with a chronic stool collector and general shut in like my uncle.

Oh sorry about that” mumbled the first, tallest suit.

Don’t apologise to him!” the second chastised, picking up another bucket and throwing it towards me. My hopes of a bucket full of confetti were dashed as I received another drenching. My unmentionables would need ironing to undo all this shrivelling.

As the water drained from me like a freshly-birthed hippo, the second man (who I had decided was the nastier of the two. I had already given him the nickname “Horrid Henry” before I realised this was already copyrighted and I received an imaginary court summons for merely thinking of it) grabbed the back of my chair and dragged me across the room. He positioned my chair underneath a dripping pipe. I could feel the soft pat of each drop on my scalp, although I was already too wet to care at this point. When I enquired as to the purpose of this exercise, the nice one explained that I was being subjected to Chinese water torture. I wasn’t sure what was so Chinese about it. Perhaps the leaky pipework had been sourced from the World’s fastest growing economy. I daren’t ask in case it was considered racist.

If you enjoyed that, then no doubt you’ll love Muppets For Justice.


Failing that, feel free to follow me at muppetsforjustice.blogspot.co.uk


And with that, I've just received the ransom money, so Mark will return soon and normality shall resume. Thank you for having me, and peace out.
------------------------------------------------------
Am...am I back? We're out of time? Well alright then. Let me just get in a quick plug of my own quick. Tune in tomorrow for a podcast from me! It took long enough.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Still Nothin'

You might remember last Thursday I made a blog post about how I had been approached and asked to sign a publishing agreement, which I then signed. For those not in the know, I submitted a proposal on a freelance writing site asking for people who wanted their works published. After a few weeks I got a message back from them asking to see some of my work and I sent them a copy of The Beast. They asked me to edit it and so I did, and resubmitted it. They asked me to sign a publishing agreement and so I did. I was super excited at the time but now it seems that the congratulations may have been a little premature.

After everyone was asking when it was going to be published I decided to drop them a message asking that very question. I also had a few of my own for them so took the chance. I still haven't heard back from them and it's been nearly a week now. Before now they would generally get back to me in a few hours. I must say I am a little worried that even though I've signed a legally binding contract, things might not work out the way they're supposed to. I did read all the contract thoroughly so it's not like anything bad could happen, but I find it odd they seem to have just disappeared without telling me when they plan to publish something.

I'll keep writing Immortal Space and if I've not heard back from them by the time it's done (which will be a few months) then the whole thing is definitely a write off. Should that be the case then I'll try submitting Immortal Space to actual publishers. Self publishing is nice and easy but unfortunately I don't really have the userbase to do it. I'm going to have to go about this the "right" way and become some publisher's bitch one way or the other.

Frankly I'd like my first experience with a publisher to be a nice and productive one. I'll keep you informed of course.

Friday, 3 January 2014

The Importance Of Cereal

This reason this post is so late is because lately I've been going to bed later than usual and, thus, waking up later than usual. I went to bed at about six AM and woke up a few times before finally staying up at about half one in the afternoon. Which means I missed my mail; which sucks because I'm expecting several packages at this point. I'll have to go pick them up tomorrow.

That's not what I'm here for though. Today I'm here with something related to my diet thing. I'm not exactly on a diet, I'm just eating better. Seriously, that's all it is. It's also super ridiculously easy. I've also had a breakthrough. Cereal is stupidly awesome when it comes to your day.

Because I've not woken up early in quite a long time I've also not had cereal in quite a long time. I (usually) wake up at around ten or eleven in the morning. I go to bed pretty late so it all evens out. I tend to just wait until lunch time to get something out and have a decent meal. Yesterday I decided to have some cereal and it was about 130 calories. In one meal. Before I started cutting back I was eating maybe about 800+ calories a meal and three of those will do terrible things to your stomach. It's the main reason I wasn't losing weight. Well, pretty much the only reason. Once I started cutting down I eat on average 500-600 calories a meal which is about 1500-1800 a day. That's enough for a steady weight loss. It is, as I also said, EASY. Substitute one of those meals for something that's only 130 calories and I either allow myself more calories later on, or just less overall.

Well I've just bored the lot of you so I'll leave it at that. Enjoy your breakfast folks. It's worth it. I'll have more news as for as being published goes when I have it. I sent the guy an email a few days ago asking me when he plans to publish and haven't had a response yet. It sucks.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

I'm Running Out Of Excuses

This week has been pretty busy for me which is the main reason that, you guessed it, I don't have a podcast for you. I know some people tend to give some sort of year in review on the new years (happy new year by the way folks. Have a good one) I won't be doing that because something amazing happened to me on New Years Eve. Actually it happened around about midnight precisely as the new year came in.

I signed a publishing contract.

That's right folks. I have a publisher now. You remember it was either one week, or two weeks ago when I made a post about someone saying they were interested in a revised edition of The Beast? I cleaned it up and formatted it for them, and sent it back to them. They said that they loved it and they offered me the chance to sign with them. They offered me two contracts and of course I could only pick one. The first contract stated that I would be paid 0.006 cents per word (which is better than it sounds) and would receive 10% of the royalties. In return they would pay for all the costs of marketing the book and creating a cover. I would also have complete creative freedom. The publisher could ask me to write about something, but he couldn't tell me.

The other option was that I would receive 50% of the royalties but half of my first check would go towards the cover design and marketing fees. I also wouldn't have creative freedom. With this choice the publisher had the legal right to demand I write something he wanted me to.

In the end I chose the first option and signed across the dotted line. Effectively signing my life away I guess. I'm still waiting to learn more but for now it seems I do have a publisher and you can expect a release of The Beast soon. He's also interested in Immortal Space.

Don't worry about getting your update fix on that either. I went through the first five chapters and added to it when I thought I needed to. I also have the right to publish my work for marketing purposes. I just can't publish it to sell. So I can still post Immortal Space updates. I doubt I can post the complete work but I can certainly post enough to keep you going long enough for me to say "You have to pay for the rest", and then pay me for the rest.

I'll try to get a podcast up next week. Hopefully you can appreciate why I haven't. I actually heard from our good pal Bersercules who said he's interested in doing another recording together and the stuff I did with him was always well received.

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