October172014
October162014
October92014
October12014

Happy October!

From http://jerrodbalzer.com/happy-october/

Yay! It’s finally here, my favorite time of the year! The leaves are turning, the air is cooler, and everything just feels spookier. Time to pull out those scary movies and pumpkin-everything, lol. It’s certainly got me in the mood to stay in full gear for Oak Clan rewrites, which are coming along well. Old fans will love what I’m doing with it, and newcomers should be in for a treat. Once finished, I’ll roll right into the sequel, which I love even more and was about 3/4 finished before I’d stopped.

September142014

We had a nice visit with Robin Balzer

From http://jerrodbalzer.com/we-had-a-nice-visit-with-robin-balzer/

Yesterday, we took a trip down to Hannibal to see Robin. It was a gorgeous day and we got her out and about town for a few hours. It was great! She’d dyed her hair a pretty auburn color that looked nice on her. We took her shopping and stopped at a Chinese restaurant that we’d never been to, which was pretty good, and then hunted for yard sales.

While we were eating, I mentioned how someone brought to my attention via Nickolaus Pacione’s Tumblr that he would like to take Robin out. She about choked on a crab rangoon and laughed. When she could finally talk, she said, “He’s such a loser.” She said after things he’d said in the past, he can write “Never” on the calendar.

We also brought her latch hook supplies along so she could work on that in the activity room. She has a white tiger partially done that she wants to finish up and send to her parents. From the sounds of things, she’s adjusted well to the place and enjoying what it has to offer. I’m really proud of her!

And my seizures are getting to be few and far between. While we were going about, I left my cane in the car and got along okay. I was getting pretty wobbily toward the end, though, and took some Benadryl to keep from dropping. Still, I didn’t and that’s what’s important.

I think part of the reason we had a such a nice time together is because we were both doing better than normal. As always, it sucks that we have to live apart to accomplish this, but we’ll never really be apart. We just keep telling each other, “Best friends to the end.” Sometimes I offer a Chucky laugh from Child’s Play, but I don’t think she gets it, lol.

September112014

Rape and abuse is big business - a Dr. Phil rant.

From http://jerrodbalzer.com/rape-and-abuse-is-big-business-a-dr-phil-rant/

*Rape and abuse trigger warning! In case the title didn’t give a hint*

This is a rant post. You’ve been double warned.

You know, I can appreciate it when shows like Dr. Phil bring on victims of rape and abuse to help them and bring about awareness, and especially encourage their phone apps for those who feel in danger. That’s all fantastic.

However, I really think it goes too far. I’ll hear people in public saying things like, “Oh, I can’t wait for tomorrow’s episode! They’ll have that girl on who was caged up and raped for most of her life!”

Seriously? Yippee for that? You want to grab the popcorn and gather around while a victim tells every gruesome detail to millions of voracious viewers? Who does that help other than Dr. Phil and the network via ratings?

And let’s not forget the commercials. I caught a little bit today. It was something about this guy from a show called Sons of Guns. I know nothing of the show, but apparently, he raped his daughter, and the sister was on Dr. Phil to talk about it all. After offering details of being molested at the age of twelve, Dr. Phil asked if there were other victims that she knew of, and then… cut to commercial!

They have to leave you hanging so you’ll watch the commercials before they return, right? That’s it, sit there, frothing at the mouth, waiting to hear more about little girls being touched.

Just eat that shit up!

I openly complained how they left it for commercial and someone said, “Well, that’s how they do business.”

And I know how all that works. However, this is not some soap opera or action-packed show, or poorly-scripted reality show. It’s not some game show where you have to wait through TV ads to see if the given answer was correct. This is very real RAPE and ABUSE! Since when is it okay to cash in on this, and why is this morally accepted by the general public?

In its early days, I thought Dr. Phil was a pretty decent show, but now it seems like a tabloid thing that serves to exploit a shitty person each day. The only difference between this and other sleazy shows is he doesn’t let people in the audience yell catchphrases, and he doesn’t encourage fights to break out on stage.

Okay, rant off.

So what do you think? Is Dr. Phil genuinely trying to help people or is it all greedy exploitation under the guise of charity?

September72014

Oh WOW! They found Jack the Ripper!

From http://jerrodbalzer.com/oh-wow-they-found-jack-the-ripper/

Hey, look here at how they found the shawl that Catherine Eddowes was murdered in by Jack the Ripper, then tested the DNA of blood samples to discover the identity of Jack the Ripper: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/liverpool-scientist-how-solved-mystery-7732111

Or so they’d like to believe. Really, they just found some other guy’s blood, along with semen. She was so broke at the time of her murder that she’d recently pawned her boots, and was known to use prostitution to keep the rent paid, so….

Congratulations, scientists! You’ve identified her last john before her murder! I’m sure he’s embarrassed.

And by the way, real scientists don’t offer such absolutes.

September52014

Finalizing - winding down - updates

From http://jerrodbalzer.com/finalizing-winding-down-updates/

Needless to say, it’s been a rough few months. I’m way too drained to get into tons of detail, but I’ll break things down into somewhat random paragraphs:

1. Our dog, Nash, passed away in July. This was a heavy blow, especially with everything else going on. Robin kept thinking he was at the door, wanting in. R.I.P., buddy.

2. With the absence of Nash, we found that our other dog, Opal, has been going blind and we didn’t even realize it. Nash had been helping her along so nothing seemed out of the ordinary. So when she goes outside, etc, I take Nash’s place in making her feel secure.

3. Robin is now at her new home in Hannibal, MO. She’s adjusting the best she can and making friends. It turned out that her moving day was right on her birthday, August 14th.

4. We received our divorce papers today, so it’s official. Now she can get improved insurance, and the same goes for me.

5. My seizures have improved tremendously since she left, so her illness was most definitely the #1 stress trigger for me. I’ve only had about ten in three weeks, not counting several almost-seizures that I’ve been able to hold off. But this is bittersweet because while it’s great to feel so much less pain for a change, it also means I’m better off without Robin around. I just can’t put that kind of emotional conflict into words.

6. I’ve been getting more work done here and there, writing-wise. I’ve also build a new arcade presence. I know, lol, third time’s the charm, right? Well, the first time was to see how it went, and it went too well, crashing our server with all the bandwidth traffic. Next, I put it on a server that I was paying for, but the divorce and halving income killed the finances for that. So this time, it’s just going to be a personal one using other sites’ bandwidth, with their permission. It should help balance things out and rather than make it another KHP addon, I’m just doing a personal thing in case it doesn’t work out again. Anyway, here it is and it can also be found on this site’s top menu: http://jerrodbalzer.com/arcade

7. Finally, I unfriended Facebook again. I had done this about three months ago with both FB and Twitter, and Twitter is still gone, but I’d had to come back to FB to look someone up. Then I got distracted and stayed on for a bit. Well, the same ol’ constant fighting and negative crap is still ruining the joint. I love my friends there but trolls will be trolls and as you can see from a few recent posts here, most of my current stress is from Facebook douchebaggery. I set it up for deletion after two weeks of not signing in, like I’d done on Twitter. All traces should be gone soon, even if I wanted to come back. It feels nice, too, like I’m reclaiming a bit of the real world.

August112014

Robin Williams R.I.P.

From http://jerrodbalzer.com/robin-williams-r-i-p/

Robin Williams R.I.P. focus_keyword  Robin Williams R

This is such terrible news. I grew up watching Robin Williams as Popeye over and over again, and also as Mork on Mork & Mindy. Later in Toys and in Hook. The list goes on, and his stand-up was always a hoot.

Thank you, Robin Williams, for being part of my childhood and beyond. You left us too soon. Rest in peace.

August102014

How NOT to be a professional editor

From http://jerrodbalzer.com/how-not-to-be-a-professional-editor/

The drama between Hachette and Amazon has got a lot of people in the publishing world in heated debates. I was recently in one where I was pretty much unable to express my opinion without being put under a microscope. Don’t you love those kinds of arguments?

See, I have always been of the opinion that ebooks should not cost much. Once the book is ready for publication, there is zero overhead to keep it in distribution, whereas print has plenty of overhead thanks to warehouse costs, printing costs, etc, etc, so the higher price makes sense for print but not ebooks. Books should be consistent throughout the formats to remain fair to the customers, so whatever is made after each sale with one format should be consistent with another. If one format’s price is jacked up to as much as ten or fifteen dollars more in profit, the customer is being screwed, in my opinion.

Making the price of an ebook (again, zero overhead) as much as or higher than a print book (again, lots of overhead), is most certainly jacking up the price and screwing the customers.

Furthermore, Amazon is a store. They don’t want to screw their customers so they don’t want to sell ebooks over $9.99. If a company like Hachette or anyone else doesn’t like that, they can take their business elsewhere. Opposing views act like Amazon is forcing Hachette to drop their prices. How? Hachette can sell anywhere else they want. But under Amazon’s roof, you play by their rules. Would a farmer go to market and demand to sell each apple for $10 whether the market owners liked it or not? Hell no! The owners should have every right to tell the farmer to come to his/her senses or go somewhere else.

Opposing views are also saying that if Hachette sold their books cheaper, they would go bankrupt. So Amazon, the most successful company in the business, that uses the strategy of selling ebooks cheaper, is bankrupt? Because that would be the case if one were to follow that logic.

Anyway, so that’s the gist of my opinion. In a recent debate on Facebook, I was saying the above, and others were demanding to know how I’d know the cheaper ebook route would work. Well, apparently, Amazon’s existence somehow escapes them. I mentioned that the company I’m with, while small, stays in the black each year despite tough times for the publishing world, so that’s saying something. Our general prices are $3.99 and we’re fine.

Oh boy! That set ‘em off. And here is where I get to the title of this post. One popular editor, in his pretentious, elitist glory, decided to take the opportunity to attack KHP all because I don’t worship his lords and masters, the Big 5 Publishers.

He browsed the press titles on Amazon and searched for the ones with the least amount of sales, and then posted the rank numbers in the discussion. The rest is self-explanatory:

Jeff Vandermeer focus_keyword  Jeff Vandermeer

And then he blocked me. Stay classy, Jeff.

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