Sunday, April 15, 2012

We've Moved!

After more than three years here at Blogspot, "Walks in the Marsh" hads gone on walkabout and moved to a new location:

Take a walk on the world wide web and come visit!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Turning to tech to get writing again

It's amazing what a change of scenery and some new tech will do when you're stuck in neutral on a writing project.

My wife, to my utter shock, bought me an iPad 2 a little while ago as a birthday/10-year anniversary gift after we'd talked about strategies to get writing again. I'd found myself in a non-writing rut for a while and needed to shake things up. I do enjoy writing on my computer here at home using a fantastic application called Scrivener (I can't recommend it highly enough) but between the cat and other distractions (phone, TV in the same room, the knowledge that there was laundry to be done, etc.), it's been hard to get into a groove at home.

However, going mobile felt even worse as my laptop -- a very fine MacBook Pro -- is my work computer and frankly, I spend too much time using that system every day at work to really feel comfortable spending my free time writing on it as well.

And then the topic of an iPad came up and to my surprise, Jenn went out and got one for me. First of all, it's a really cool gizmo and one that has changed how and where I read the news every day among other things. But more importantly, with a Bluetooth keyboard and a very slick way to get access to my Scrivener projects via iPad (the free Simplenote app), I suddenly found myself with an ideal way to get away from the stuff on my desk and the loving cat desperate for attention and instead camp out in our local library (recently redone from top to bottom and now one of my favorite places) and write. I hunker down in a carel with a nice view of the gardens, tucked away in solitude on the third floor in the Religion section that no one ever seems to visit, and I've found myself writing again.

The great thing is that this doesn't feel like a short-term fad. I love the iPad, I love using it as a writing tool, and most critically, I have not permitted any work-related apps, e-mails, or other materials to be loaded onto it. It's 100% a personal tool, one that I can pick up and move wherever I need to be. With the synchronization to my Scrivener project, I'm have access to the same notes, chapters, scenes, and more that are available via my iMac. I'm not done with my novel yet but I'm farther along than I was a few weeks and months ago, which feels very good.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Have jet pack, will go...boating?

This is either the coolest or nuttiest innovation in "boating" that I've seen in a long time. OK, I'll admit it...I think it's pretty cool. Very "Thunderball."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dumb Criminals

There's a bit of a scandal going on in the Rhode Island defense industry as a local firm has been shut down following allegations of a $13.5 million kickback scandal. An executive at the firm and the civilian program manager tasked with overseeing contracts are at the heart of the alleged criminal activity. Now, one of these individuals has clearly demonstrated that smarts and subtlety are not prerequisites for crime. showing that you really don't need to be terribly smart to pull off big crime.

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's nice to be loved, I guess.

Our sole remaining cat is 17 and a half years old. She's in pretty good shape, relatively healthy, and dumb as a load of bricks. She's also getting cranky and demanding in her dotage. What would have been cute, if annoying in a kitten (the "I want to play at 3:30 AM" antics, among other things) have made the transition to annoying and frustrating. Among her repertoire of "pay attention to me" late night activities are:

  • rattling the closet doors
  • scratching at the closet doors
  • scratching at the sheets and mattress right next to my head
  • finding, walking on, and rustling any stray items that make a nice crinkly sound (e.g., my gym bag)
  • hopping up on the bed and leaning the full weight of her body against my face because she always must  be touching me (this is a move we've dubbed the "golden retriever")
  • tapping me in the hollow of my throat with one paw
  • pawing at the sheets so she can burrow, temporarily, down by my knees
  • doing the "rain dance" on my knees and thighs, reminding me pointedly that it's time to clip her claws
  • Padding across our bamboo floors, aforementioned claws clicking like feline castanets, even after they've been clipped
  • Standing on my night table where she uses her paws to either rattle my clock radio, turn on the music by hitting the sleep button (that's got to be just dumb luck on her part...there's no way she can read the "Sleep" label, right?), or by accidentally setting the clock ahead by an hour or two.

These efforts typically do win her some attention. The ideal situation from her perspective is when I shamble out of bed and walk to the kitchen, standing unsteadily and more than half-asleep by her food bowl, which always still has food in it. She will have followed or led me to it which point she'll look down and be amazed that there's food available to her! She's not going to starve! Dad loves her! Nom nom nom...

More recently though, these little morning encounters end with me swearing and trying not to wake my wife as I grab my iPhone to use as a flashlight so I can spot the furry little pain in the ass and unload on her with a spray bottle full of water. Sometimes the frustration reaches the point that I'll pursue her all the way to the living room, hosing her down as she flees.

Usually, this DEFCON 1 response will get her to stop for the remainder of the night.

Unless she hops up on the bed immediately after I've fallen asleep and carries out another maneuver I've dubbed "the soggy golden retriever."

Of course, when I'm travelling on business, she's a saint, never bothering my wife. On the other hand, there are times like this morning when I departed for the gym at 5:30 AM and, according to reports from my grumpy wife, the cat immediately began crying and moaning, wandering the house, bereft and distressed at my absence.

It's nice to be loved, just not when it's that early. There is one saving grace least the cat doesn't smell like a wet golden retriever.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Here's something you don't see every day

Having lived in Minnesota, I can attest to the amount of snow that falls there. Of course, I never saw this happen when I was there! Somehow, I don't think this is supposed to happen to an NFL stadium.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

'Tis the Season

Nothing says "Christmas is coming soon" like the hanging of the decapitated snowman ornament during our annual tree trim here at home.

An ornament only Quentin Tarantino (and we) could love

Of course, the end result is definitely worth it as we wish you all a nice early "happy holidays"!

Sure, Christmas has become even more commercial and now starts sometime in August in retail stores but this is a wonderful sight