New Artist

I’ve been busy so I haven’t posted in weeks.

I hired a new artist and will have new art work posted soon. Of course a hurricane got in the way of getting the artwork I was going to post today.

A writer is a communicator. If you want to test your ability to communicate then hire an artist. It all goes back to the newspapers and the challenge to describe a spiral staircase without using your hands (now that’s communication). An artist sees your words but visualizes them as a completely different picture from what you had in mind. I need that visualization but not quite that way.

Employee origination is a lot harder to do as a hirer than you think.

Stay tuned great things are coming Klystronia, the land of mad science, monsters, and mayhem.

Write on, draw on.   Professor Voltage

Rain in California

We had a little bit of rain for a couple of hours the other night. Most people would call it a mist. That’s a big thing where we have had only a few hours of rain in the last ten months. I was expecting it to get the ground soaked and then get some real rain and real mud slides. Didn’t happen.

More cities are talking about putting in desalinization plants to make fresh water. This county depends on agriculture for a large part of it’s economy. Desalted water cost to much to use for farming.

The voters in this county have stop every company that wants to move a large number of jobs into the county. There is one airplane parts manufacture has been trying to move into this county for years and bring 5000 jobs. The locals don’t want it.

Desalted water is to expensive to use for farming and if the drought goes on for much longer the farms go out of business. Without jobs who will be able to pay for the water to drink?

This area of bedroom communities is going to become a nice place to visit but you can’t afford to buy the water to live there.

Write on, draw on.   Professor Voltage.

Halloween and Payback

Last night I handed out candy to the trick-or-treaters. Not many people do that on my block. I must live on a block of cheapskates. The lights were out at most of the houses near me.

I had my lights on, Halloween music playing, and a big bowl of candy waiting.

I liked Halloween as a kid, dressing up and getting candy. When I was very small we lived out in the country side and there was no trick-or-treating, but they did hold a carnival at the grade school.

Handing out candy is payback for the good times I had as a kid.

There is more than one way to do a payback, so why hide and be angry?

There were not as many children out this year as there were last year. I estimate 75 to 100 for this year, where last year it was 150 to 200.


Write on, draw on.  Professor Voltage.

Dealing with the Government, a Good Experience

I needed to change some information with the federal government Office of Personnel and Management and I was dreading doing it.

I put it off as long as I could. Then I had to do it.

After a long search I found the letter they sent me with my Unique Identifier Number (UIN) on it. The government web site gave me nothing but trouble. I quickly found out that you cannot bookmark a link to the inside of the web site so you can return to that place quickly. You have to start on the home page and go through all the drop down menus.

After hours of going around in circles with the web site I get a page that says you can’t do what I want to do and it said call this number.

I prepare myself for a long wait (restroom break, coffee, and water) and make the call.

I got a person after a couple of rings. She was cheerful, knowledgeable, and fast. In a couple of minutes I had three problems taken care of.

If only the rest of the government worked like this.

Now I’ve jinked it, people reading this will call instead of trying to use the web site which will cause long telephone wait times.

I should have bought a lottery ticket yesterday.

Write on, draw on.   Professor Voltage.

Hospital Food is really that Bad

The last couple of days I’ve been with a sick relative in the hospital. Been doing a lot of hand holding while the doctors try to figure out what caused the problem. Don’t let anyone fool you, we need more tools, diagnostic techniques, cures, research. One day you’re going to get sick and wish there was a better way to get well.

It’s been long, long days with someone who needed me there. After a grueling day of waiting for tests to be run, or this or that doctor to see my relative I was hungry. The nurse said they had a spare lunch tray and I could have, I was hungry and not thinking to clearly so I did. How could they mess up Mac and Cheese (macaroni and cheese). It looked fancy with good presentation. But it was next to a big pile of steamed cauliflower. The chicken soup was too thin and lacked flavor.

In their defense it was a heart healthy meal but no wonder my relative wasn’t eating.

It was warm when served but the Mac and Cheese had that no fat taste or lack of taste. It also was devoid of salt.

So it’s not so much the fault of the hospital, the problem is that we eat such unhealthy food.

Three food groups; Salt, sugar, and diet coke.

Write on, draw on.  Professor Voltage

What’s the Holiday Hurry

Driving home tonight and I passed three houses on my block with bright red Christmas lights. It’s not Halloween yet.

I like a little competition but these people are getting carried away. There wasn’t a single orange or black (UV) light set out for a Halloween decoration.

Red is the color of lights to have for Christmas this year. None of the lights I passed blink. When I put mine up they blink and they don’t go up until after Thanksgiving.

I guess using Christmas lights would be OK if you were dressing up as an elf or Santa Claus for Halloween, but that’s just tacky.

It’s almost as bad as the Big Lots store. On October 2nd they had more shelves of Christmas stuff than Halloween stuff. Next thing you know they will have Christmas stuff for sale along side the fourth of July stuff.

Even the guy that leaves his Christmas lights up all year hasn’t turned them on yet.

Slow down and enjoy each holiday as it comes. They only come once a year.


Write on, draw on.  Professor Voltage


Non-Human senses, a panel from Conjecture Con 2014, notes on

A few quick note on the panel. Panelist; William Stoddard, Vernor Vinge, Jean Graham, James Hay

William Stoddard mentioned a book called Animal Eyes, and yes it’s about animal eyes and vision. Some scrimp can see colors humans can’t.

Comment, it’s not x-ray vision if superman can see through a wall and see the color of the object on the other side of the wall.

Vernor Vinge called his story about a shape shifting demon hard fantasy. He attempted to keep the biology as real as he could. Used the term “explicit biology of fantasy”.

James Hay pointed out that animals devote a large part of their brain to the dominate sense. (Can smell well but can’t see worth a darn.)

James mentioned that when staking an animal if animal looks at you freeze. Many animals are sensitive to motion. He failed stalking class twice.

Vernor had a friend that put an Infer Red sensing camera on his glasses and changed the output of the camera to audio and piped the audio into his ear. He could tell if the lawn needed watering even if it looked very green to everyone else. Can Google Glass do that, if it could you could sell it to gardeners all over the world.

William Stoddard said the book on animal eyes reported that birds are now following roads. It’s lazy and messing up the scientist that study migration.

Jean has seven cats. Great for writing about senses. (she must have tons of followers on Youtube and draw lots of people to her Facebook page with all the cat pictures and stories. Which would help sell a lot of books).

They got to talking about races or creatures that had dominate senses other than sight. You would end up with saying in the creatures language like “I know it like the smell of my rear end.”

Write on, Draw on. Professor Voltage.

Artists don’t respect their customers

Artists don’t respect their customers. I attended a panel at the recent Conjecture 2014 conference where two artist gave a talk.

I have mentioned before that I find artists are not morning people. The panel started at 10:00 AM yet one panel speakers complained that it was too early. I am on the computer working by 7:00 AM every morning along with other engineers I know. To us 10:00 is time to take a break from work and stretch our legs.

Neither artist brought a laptop to the panel (although one said she had one in her hotel room) yet both artists wanted to show pictures of great artwork to the attendees and did not have hard copies. There’s always problems with getting the laptop to talk to the projector but this is ridiculous. Ended up having to walk to the speakers table to look at their cell phones to see the artwork.

Is this an example of the artist disconnect with their customers or is it artist arrogance where artist believe that people will buy whatever they make because it is art and they are very good. What if people are not buying the type or style of art the artist is producing. Could this be why there are so many starving artists?

Maybe I care about my customers, maybe I care to much? Maybe I’ll always be an engineer and never an artist.

Write on, draw on.  Professor Voltage.

San Diego Comic Fest not to be confused with Comic Con

Last weekend (Oct 17, 18, & 19 2014) I attended the San Diego Comic Fest at the Town and Country hotel on hotel circle. It was a great convention.

Under I was wrong. When I got the preliminary schedule I researched the different presentations on the web (who are they talking about, should I know this guy). I was disappointed that there were not many presentations on making comics. I was wrong. There were plenty of presentations by writers and artist on making comics. This year there were also several presentations on Kickstarter and doing Kickstarter campaigns. The Kickstarter talks drew good crowds.

There were unscheduled talks including one that went till after 10:00 PM Saturday.

I heard other attendees say that the presentations were good this year so it’s not just me that thinks it was a good con. I go to find out how to make better comics and it is always a relief to find others are having the same problems I am having. Now if I could find someone that would warn me of the problems before hand.

There were many presentations on other subjects but hey I’m focused.

Besides where else can you go and have Spiderman as your IT guy, complete with Google Glass. Your costume rocks AV tech.

You could get a ride in a Ghost Buster’s car.

Artist alley was packed. A friendly busy bunch. There were the occasional shouts of where is my brush pen and buy my book.

Plenty of Steampunk costumes.

Lots of music, with live band.

I had family commitments and had to skip Sunday but if Sunday was anything like Friday and Saturday it was a great conference.

Conjecture 2014 & ConChord 26 fantasy conventions

I’m more into science fiction but I enjoy conventions and had never been to this one. Besides it don’t take much to keep me happy. I do miss listening to authors talks since the Mysteries to Die For bookstore closed.

Got to hear many authors talk. Several of the authors I have never heard give a talk before.

It’s a small convention and those are the best. You can talk to the speakers and other attendees unlike the very big cons where the lines are too long and the crowds too big.

The dealers room had a small number of vendors but I bought a couple of items, support your vendors. Could have used more vendors and the competition between vendors is limited with the small number of them.

The last panel of the day was always the funniest.

There was the usual confusion at the beginning of the con, you don’t notice it in the big cons they have enough support people to smooth thing out.

All in all a good con.


Write on, draw on.  Professor Voltage.