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Dad's computer and other stuff

Dad's computer is no more.
It started having serious boot problems and it would have to wait for a fix until I returned from vacation (on which more later). Dad's computer was therefore unhealthy but not just for the machine. Also for Dad and me.
For Dad because his brain is lapsing more and more, the computer was beginning to frustrate him because he knew less and less how to operate it. It was for me as well because each morning Dad would call for about 15 minutes asking me how to switch it on, and 15 minutes in the evening because he didn't remember how to switch it off.
So I sold the computer to someone who wanted it and could fix it. Dad agreed with it after some talking. It's better for him and for me.

He only had the PC to play music so sis and I got him a simple stereo which works fine. Dad called a few times after that. About the stereo. Wondering how he could do his bookkeeping on it as he didn't remember how to type on it. Bookkeeping was his job, it's ingrained into his DNA so he is fixated on it. Dad, a stereo is for music, not for typing.
This evening he called again. About the stereo, because there was something wrong with it. Does it play music, Dad? Yes. (I could hear it, it was on very loud.) Does it play the music in the right order, Dad? (He's very peculiar about the order of his music.) Yes. So then what's wrong with it, Dad? I don't know.
Dad's not doing well inside his head. I'm very sorry for him for that, it's rough. On him and my sister and me.

Yes, I was on vacation, to Italy (Trieste) and Crete. It was great. I met erynn999 in Trieste and had a great time with her, talking, walking around the city and seeing the sights. :)
Then I travelled on to Crete where I had a very enjoyable week. It's back to work as of today, but with a new car. That helps.

In writing news: I'm close to publishing the 14th book in the Hilda the Wicked Witch series. Book 15 is already halfway written too, and for Nanowrimo I plan on doing yet another Hilda book, just because she's fun to write about.
And also, today, after 18 months and 1 week, I wrote 1 million words. I started keeping track last year April, wondering how long a million words would take next to a job and other life-stuff. Now I know.

Morning view.

As I walked to work this morning:
Morning view



 In almost a week I wrote over 32000 words in 15 chapters for a new story. When I don't write, I dream of it.

Astrophysics, Sci fi, paranormal stuff, aliens, stuff flying through space, and a complicated unorthodox romance. Just to make things easy on myself. I did find a picture which seems perfect for the book cover though.

Might have to add something to it once I bought it, but this feels very good already.

Looking for someone who knows Welsh...

 Okay... out on a limb now. Is there someone here who can speak and read Welsh? I need a translation for "Nothing happens without a reason". Google Translate came up with "Nid oes dim yn digwydd heb reswm". Is that somewhat correct?


 It sounds simple. I think it is. And it is going to happen.

Last week I was away from home, off to Bristol for 5 days. I had close to no internet access there (did not want to pay €20/day for hotel internet, nor €10/MB for phone 3G, I know I am a cheap skate). And that was fine. Not all the time, but in general - it was fine. No facebook, no google+, no twitter, no journals, no nothing. All the time in the world for me. I read a lot, walked and talked with friends, did nothing, and it felt good.

After coming back home, the feeling of no internet was still there - it still is. And I have all the internet I can possibly want and need. So that makes the best of both worlds. Now, where does the simplification come in? It is in the chopping.

What I have now: 3 facebook accounts, a separate fb page, a google+ account and a page there, 4 twitter accounts, 2 journal accounts. Simple... but not really.

After the chopping some stuff will be gone. At least 1fb account goes, and Google+ goes.

Why? I gave up my volunteer work for an organisation because I had no more time for that. A lot of that time became sucked up by FB/G+/twitter etc. I had a Diaspora account for a while, that has already been eliminated.
The Google+ people will not like that. The people from the FB-to-be-dumped account will transfer to the normal FB account. Some people won't like that. Twitter? We'll see.

It really can be that simple. If people don't like it - I am sorry for them, but I like it, and these are my accounts. I do as I please. For they have to be there for my pleasure. It is, indeed, that simple.

Car service centre.

Today I received an email from the lease company that finances my car. If I would please fill out a simple questionnaire.
Which I did, because I am cool like that.

The lease company has a number of their own service centres to take care of the cars in their fleet, and they want, of course, as many people there. Their questionnaire was about people considering using those facilities.

Until now I always take my car to the local Toyota dealer, as that is literally on the way to or from work. For a service I drop it off, pick up the loaner, and repeat that trick the next day.

A lease service centre is about 30km away from home, and about (at this moment) 40km from where I work. Their service goes so far, that they will send someone over to me with a loaner car, who then picks up my car. I can use the loaner until my own car is returned to me, after which their driver takes their car back to the centre. Isn't that a fantastic service? And I don't even have to pay for the use of the loaner, that is all free!

I don't use their service. I probably never will, unless perhaps they open up shop next door.

Look at it: someone drives 30km (20 miles) to bring me a car. They drive those 30km back. And the next day another 30 in mine, and 30 in theirs. Provided they swap at my home. Otherwise it would be 4x40km. That is 120km to 160km of driving, of fuel, of exhaust, and of environment pollution for which I have to do absolutely nothing. No, thanks. I'll gladly pay for the loaner car and save the world at least 120km of driving exhaust. I'll gladly support a smaller local business to keep their shop open, where I know the people and am treated as almost a friend. And if that costs me some extra money - fine.


 All my Hilda books that have so far been published as e-books are now available in print too!!

I'm crazy! (And I love it!) Here are the last 3 proofs that came in today:

It's cold here

Today I had to wear my gloves going to work.
We're having somewhat of a wintery spell here, with night temperatures below zero C/32F (Damn, I am so kind to convert all our silly celsius to the far more comprehensible fahrenheit!)
This morning the outside temperature is -9C, for you imperialists that is 16F.
There is a bit of wind though, 20KM/hour (14MPH or so), so the windchill factor makes that -16C / 3F.

Before I drove off, I put on my gloves. The steering wheel of my car was just too cold to handle.

Avatar and Na'vi

The movie.
It was on tv here last Thursday. I did not watch it. It was broadcast on a station that is famous for making movies almost twice as long because of the insane amount of advertisement they stick in them. I can do Avatar without ads just fine. Ask my bluray disc. :)

Na'vi & Avatar
I do a lot with it.
  • speak it
  • teach it
  • send out a Na'vi word a day on twitter
  • active in the Lexical Expansion Project, to add new words
  • write a blog in it
  • translate the dictionary into Dutch
  • help a few people in Germany in translating their site into Dutch (it is a Na'vi learning site)
  • have a tattoo based on Avatar
  • will have a 2nd tattoo based on Avatar
  • sometimes say or write a Na'vi word without noticing (sometimes with very entertaining results!)
Still waiting on the delivery of my ikran though...


Ok. Have to vent. This writing and book-publishing is getting scarily serious now.
In about 2.5 years I wrote 8 Hilda books and 3 steampunk books. I have a download-amount of the free books that is downright indecent (currently it stands a few over 135.000).
Hilda 8 has been *sold* over 70 times since January 5th of this year.
And since a week people are sending me e-mails, asking when Hilda 8 will be available in .

Yes, I am thrilled. Yes, I am happy and amazed and grateful. But I am also feeling weird. I never planned this. (But now it's happening and I don't want to let it go!)

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