Wednesday, February 27, 2013

That Which I'm Saying Today

Kangas has an interesting post about this web series. And they have a whole infographic about how they blew spent $600K.
The story costing $21K seems a bit much to me while the office expenses of $4K seems low. The thing they really didn't spend any money on was production sound. I'm not saying that because I saw the line-item on their graphic, I'm saying that because I've watched a couple episodes.


Drum miking
My Instagram
Drunk, violent and holding a gun.

The Appennine Colossus.

Bad filmmakers who accidentally made smart movies.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Winston svelte

Winston's dating profile picture.
Here Winston is looking almost svelte. Let me tell you something about Winston, he is not svelte. I don't know what my parents feed their cats but their coats sure are nice. The cats' coats, not my parents coats. I'm not saying my parents don't have coats to keep them warm, I mean I was just talking about the cats and... sigh.
Actually I do know what my parents feed the cats. Those kibbles you see there are just for between-meal snacks. They get wet food in the morning and an 1/8 can of wet food (each) at night. The food has been dosed with Metamucil. It is usually warmed in the microwave before being fed to them.
That, coupled with the low-stress environment of the retirement community, makes for a nice kitty-coat.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Goofus

I've heard that orange cats actually are more annoying than other cats. There is nothing at all about Meydl which, to me, indicates this is not factual.
See? She looks cute. But she's a terror.
Yet she looks like a cute little cat, right? No. "Furry death" is more appropriate.
The black dead eyes of a killer. I have a scratch on the back of my hand to prove it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

+1

270 people downloaded my book in the US.
Then like 27 in the UK, 7 in Germany, 1 in Spain, 3 in Italy, 2 in Japan, and 1 in Canada.
In addition to that I actually sold two Kindle versions in the US.
This. This is exactly what the point of the book is.

I'm just gonna go ahead and rate this experiment a success. Yay. Me.

Die Königin Mars und ich.

Die Königin Mars und ich
I lost my gadget. Wait. I lost it again.

Press the WINKEY+R to bring up the Run Dialog Box.
Copy / Paste this line in the Open box.

%ProgramFiles%\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe /showGadgets

(Make sure this command is entered exactly as shown, including the spaces and characters)

Press OK. 
Anyway, that advice above is from here.
Oh, it needs to be "always on top", which sounds like a girl I knew in Ganymede Prime.
If you wanted me to go from a moderate leftist to a screaming conservative there's be no better method that to make me read the S.H.A.M.E. website. Good grief.  The irony is that it's the yellowest People's Daily-esque rag I've seen in a while.

These Peltor hearing protectors are very cool and they come with a recommendation from Jeremy Crowson. They're expensive as all get-out though.


But this Caldwell E-Max is only thirty bucks.


 

Hard Copy


I got some hard copies of my new novel Six Easy Days. Mmm... I really like the feel of the cover. Very nice.


Andrew Bellware Books
The book is only $8.99 at Amazon. It used to be $8.50 but then my brother complained that the book was too expensive so I raised the price fifty cents. If he complains again I'm going up to $10.99.
It's also available on Kindle. And I think it's available in Europe.


Get your parody of No Easy Day now! ;-)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I hate sarcasm

And yeah, that's coming from me. So you can imagine how bad it must be.
I'm on the train and it's one of those super-filled trains. I'm wearing a guitar softcase on my back. Lady comes on the train and I can't move but she brushes up against my pack to try to get through the door and to the side of me. I say "Just push past me."
She says "I won't push you any more."
Ugh. She thought I was being nasty and sarcastic. I try a recovery:
"No, really, just push through, it's the easiest way."
By this time she's not listening to me and won't address me anymore.
Sigh.


Chrysalis

This movie, Chrysalis, it... well...

Clearly these are painted muzzle flashes.
Anyway, they did kind of a neat thing with muzzle flashes. They actually created "streaks" (presumably from the bullets) which swooshed by the frame. Faster than Star Wars blaster "rays" but obviously absurd from a "real" standpoint. I kind of dig them.
Here you can see a "streak" going by in the right center of the frame.
 Have I mentioned the WE "G39", which is their version of an HK G36?

Gee... Thirty Six?

I am and have been frustrated with the "look" of firing automatic weapons in low/no-budget movies. Filmmakers who are much better than me insist on using blanks in their weapons. I hate blanks. Hate them almost to the degree that I would hate using live ammunition in a movie.

So the whole movie problem with the HK G36 is that the special magazine is transparent. I'm sure that's just awesome if you're, say, a soldier and you'd like to know how many bullets you have left.
But for film that just freakin' sucks. Because you can clearly see that real bullets are not cycling through the weapon.

But if you have five, or six, or seven bills to lay out for an airsoft version of one that will actually blow back the action, you can get one. Or, you know, you can find one that's cheaper.


Still, it has that darn plastic magazine with fake bullets in it where you can plainly see that the ammo isn't cycling.



So I'm looking at airsoft blowback guns. I know, I'm not the first person to think of this. But those guns can rock the action really nicely. I mean, just look at that M14. Problem? Well they can be expensive.

The other major issue is that we nominally want guns that don't really look like regular 2013AD guns. We want something a bit more futuristic. Ironically the older M14 in all black (above) looks a tad more future than the AR15 variants we're so used to seeing (even though it's an older weapon).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Get 'er done

So, y'know, I wrote this book. And... it's not perfect.
By that I mean I really should go through and do something about a few typos in it. Maybe clean up a couple logic problems. That sort of thing. Apparently I even have an "its/it's" error in there.
Oops.
A strange thing with doing stuff with CreateSpace is that I can fix those errors and re-upload them. By "strange" I mean "awesome".
Doing a regular spell check on the book didn't occur to me as there are a tremendous number of non-real words in it. I think one city name is G n'dar or some such thing. So it made me real used to seeing squiggly red underlines in the text.
My interest in the book was more about getting it done than getting it perfect. This is a part of my personality which probably explains why I make so many movies. I'm willing to let go, just in order to say "it's done".
Which doesn't mean that quality doesn't take some kind of hit. Because it does. But the fact is there's a law of diminishing returns on the quality the longer you sit on a project. Yes, I'll fix some typos in Six Easy Days and if you were to get the book sometime maybe next week it'll be less on a losing streak. But not by much.
And it's real easy, I mean really easy, to get locked in a loop where you keep trying to make whatever you're doing incrementally better and you just don't end up finishing so you've made nothing at all.
I'm not saying my way is better. In fact, I'm very well suggesting my way is not as good. Really the only quality advantage is that I've learned much about that very end of a project which is, indeed, the finishing of it. Those last few steps of getting a big project finished are things one does need to practice if one is to do them well. So maybe now that I've learned a bit more about those things I'll be better at it next time.
Well, you know, "maybe."

Six Free Days

For today only! Or, maybe for a couple days. Honestly I'm not too sure. Six Easy Days on the Kindle is free! My parody of No Easy Day. But, you know, as a science fiction book set a thousand years in the future.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Gamma Rabbit

Via.
So, I'm a bit of an aficionado of first-hand accounts of the bin Laden raid. After all, I just wrote a parody of No Easy Day so... you know, I do that.
Esquire has another first-hand account of "The Shooter". It somewhat weirdly contradicts No Easy Day. The position in the room that the Esquire's "shooter" is the same as where Mark Owen says he was in No Easy Day. Parts of the Esquire article have been debunked. And it's possible that many of the details we get are deliberately planted malarky.
For instance, nobody is really saying why the one helicopter crashed. Also, were there really bags and bags of uncut heroin at the house?

Six Easy Days Released

I now have an author page on Amazon.

You can buy the Kindle version of Six Easy Days (just click on the image below):

And you can buy the print version of Six Easy Days. I believe it will take up to a week for the book to be on Amazon. But it should be available worldwide when it gets on Amazon. Oh wait. It's on Amazon now:


Yes, the cover art is Brian Schiavo from Clonehunter.

Six Easy Days is a parody of Mark Own and Kevin Maurer's No Easy Day. But in Six Easy Days the time is a thousand years later and the Mobile Infantry, not the Navy Seals, hunt down the Xenomorph Artificial Intelligence, not Usama bin Laden.

I had a lot of fun writing it. And if you like military-style science fiction I think you'll enjoy reading it.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

drei

Our man Brian Schiavo is cutting demo reels for actors. You want an actor reel? He's very inexpensive. Hmm... I should probably talk to him about raising his rates. ;-)
Here's a .mobi creator called Mobipocket. It's kinda cool. I just ended up uploading .doc files to Kindle and to Createspace. I did that many many times in order to get the pagination right. Oh, and to deal with the typos I kept finding. Sheesh.
This dude has awesome texture packages. Sweet.

The Things And Such

Synchro Arts Vocalign. For, you know, aligning dialog and stuff. It needs ProTools.
This groovy mech suit which I've already blogged.
A fascinating article on lead in gasoline and crime rates.
Because you need to see this again, that's why.

Didn't I already blog this baby hippo? I think I already blogged this baby hippo.


Saturday, February 09, 2013

I'm Not A Wise Man

Which is why I do things like this.
This is the free book cover design for Createspace. The book is 228 pages.
I think it'll be available on Amazon and as a Kindle book in a week or so.

Things Important to Baby Hippos

The Tune Peddler. (Via Jeremy Crowson.)
Shooting chainsaws with a slingshot. (Also via Jeremy Crowson.)
Dream Up is Deviantart's new "99 Designs".

A list of people whose names I've used in my book:
Johnson
Ed
Jeremy
Chance
Schlachtmeyer
Maduka
Joe Chapman
Montserrat
Niles
Rebecca
Schiavo
Julie
Gregory
Blair
Dan
Emi
Jeanne Lewis





Friday, February 08, 2013

Got 'em if you Smoke 'em

Hi. My name is Drew and this is my public service announcement.
Do you smoke? Did you know that smoking is really, really bad for you? I mean it's really bad for you. Even worse for you than "they" say it is. It messes up your cardiovascular system post haste.
It's really bad for you.
But you know that already. And you still smoke. Hey, I can dig it. I eat way too much. I don't exercise enough. I'm totally on-board with where you're at.
So let me lay onto you an alternative. Instead of "just quit smoking" which is for many people simply impossible, try electronic cigarettes instead.
For whatever reason, our vehemently anti-harm-reduction culture just won't admit it, but e-cigs are simply not harmful to you.
But you can smoke them. And they can deliver however much nicotine you want.
Look. You don't smoke so you can inhale tar or other cancerous stuff. You want the nicotine. Maybe you want to hold something in your hand.
Here are some reasons to switch to e-cigs:
  • They won't kill you.
  • You can smoke indoors. They don't smell bad like cigarette smoke.
  • They won't kill you.
  • In many places they're cheaper than regular cigarettes.
  • They won't kill you.
So if you smoke, try e-cigs. There are a gazillion brands out there and you can get them at any local place which usually sells tobacco.
There. I'm glad I got that off my chest.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Do do to you

I got a to-do list in order to finish my book.

  1. Drew makes sure the whole book is here, in the correct order
  2. Fix widows and orphans
  3. Update chapter page numbers if they've changed
  4. Proofread the whole thing!
  5. Finishing touches and fancy-ness


I'm formatting the interior of the book in... Open Office. Yeah, I know. But I also want to get the book done, you know what I mean? I made the interior text hyphanate and automatically Orphan and Widow control with the format editor. Right now I've set it to 3 characters at the beginning and end instead of 2 and it looks vastly better.
I'm at 229 pages. I need a cover image. I need a little button or bug that's the "Mobile Infantry" badge. Or not.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Six "Easy" Days

So I finished "writing" my "book". By that I mean I finished editing a parody of "No Easy Day".
Although there are very few paragraphs in the book I didn't manhandle in some way, much of the book was a search-and-replace changing things like Usama bin Laden to "The Xenomorph A. I." and "AK-47" to "SAG pulse rifle", "helicopter" to "drop boat".
The suit you see in the picture above does not adequately represent the Starship-Troopers-esque suit the protagonist wears in Six Easy Days. It's a CC model created by Joonas Sairiala.
To better match the original No Easy Day cover the background would need to be white. I don't yet know quite which way to go with this but I hope to just make a Createspace book by the end of the week so I can move on to other things.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Q&A

Drew, in your humble yet unassailable opinion, is the Samsung Galaxy an iPhone killer?
Yes. Yes it is.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Ato and the Fourth Estate

Our man Ato Essandoh gets a write up in the LA Times. Uh, don't read if you don't want any spoilers about Django Unchained.
Here's Ato getting fake guts strapped onto him by The Queen of Mars and Tony Kenner.