Tuesday, January 13, 2009

That explains all the whiskey

Man, it is COLD today! Makes me wonder how the hell people survived this back in the 1800's. I suppose the honest answer is that a lot of them didn't survive it. Sure, we've accomplished a lot since then, but we seem like a much softer species now. People complain when they have to throw on a jacket and some of them don't even remember to put on long pants when they're scraping off their cars. Yeah, I saw some guy in shorts scraping his windows in the parking lot the other day. I'm sure anyone questioning him about it will get the standard, "No, dude, I love the cold. You should try it dude!" Sure. This is what scientists call Natural Selection. Unfortunately, the modern world is much more tolerant of idiots. A hundred and fifty years ago, idiots were weeded out fairly well. At least, the idiots who don't know what to do with a coat and pants. Now, they get patched up and sent bumbling along their way to make videos of them injuring themselves for You Tube.

Appaloosa comes out on DVD today. I think it looks pretty good, so I'll check it out. Fortunately, the -20 degree winds have blown most of the snow off my car. There's still some ice on the windshield though. Maybe that dude in the shorts will scrape it off for me. Heh.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Year of The Mouth?

I just finished watching Poker After Dark. After 10 straight losses, Mike Matusow FINALLY won one!! He was playing against Andy Black, so I would have been fine if either one of them won. Andy’s a gentleman player with some real skill and Mike has become a personal favorite of mine.

Sure, when I watched Matusow play several World Series of Pokers ago, I couldn’t help but notice what a complete dick he was. Taunting other players, strutting, screaming, CRYING. The man actually cried after taking a bad beat. What the hell? There’s no crying in poker no matter how much it’s warranted. They call him The Mouth for a reason, but still. Not the sort of guy who grows on you.

I don’t keep track of personal stuff with these players, but he’s changed. Mike’s still The Mouth, but he’s toned it down just enough for me to relate to him. Sure, it may be obnoxious, but who hasn’t carried on a bit too much after a savory win? Haven’t we all flipped some grief to other players no matter what game we were involved in? Then there’s Poker After Dark. Mike’s been in 10 of these things without winning once. Many times, he gets beaten by truly horrific strokes of bad luck that would have brought ME to tears. But Mike kept plucking away.

Any writer who’s made it to any level knows a thing or two about coming back from being knocked down. The more I see Mike play, the more I find myself rooting for the guy. He does make some truly great plays. His skill at reading other players can be uncanny. Then, again, he may just throw it away with a famous blow-up where he puts it all in for some unknown reason with a crappy hand. Even then, more often than not, he’ll admit he screwed up. Plenty of professional players out there would rather call someone an idiot for calling a bluff than admit any sort of mistake was made. As a guy who’s screwed up plenty of times, I can respect someone who at least admits it when they derailed. And still, Mike comes back with his eyes on the prize.

Well, tonight Mikey won! I hate to see Andy Black lose, but Mike put in his time for this one. It’s nice to see good things come to those who keep fighting for them. Go get ‘em, Mouth. Just don’t let this go to your head.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year '09

Taking a breather for New Year's Day. Haven't decided if I'll take the full day off or not, but I'll definitely take it easy. The wife and I didn't really do much for New Year's Eve. Usually, we really don't do a lot. Just sit at home with a bunch of junk-food type appetisers, pig out and watch movies. To be honest, it's pretty great. I'm not a real party animal, so it's nice to do something I enjoy instead of something I feel like I HAVE TO do because it's New Year's Eve. It may sound lame, but it was fun.

In a few weeks, publishers will be back from vacation and getting back to work. That's when the fun starts. Getting a book contract rolling is hard enough under regular circumstances, but now that everyone's cutting back it's even more difficult. That's just the way it goes. Unless you're a big-time, amazingly popular author who calls his / her own shots, you need to pester (but not too much) and hope for the best. I've got plans for the next Boot Hill and Accomplice. My editors like both series, but now I've gotta wait for the higher-ups to get their ducks in a row. Persistence pays off and I'll let you know once I get some definite dates and such. I've also got plans for a new series, which would be a lot of fun to do. Again, lots of interest, but the wheels grind slowly.

That's about it from this end. Hope everyone had a great holiday and has an even better 2009.