Responding to my readers

This blog is being changed to a responsive format to make it readable on mobile devices. The changes are not going well. Stay tuned. Currently trying to get images to show on Home page. Not have much luck with that.

Write on, draw on.  Professor Hyram Voltage

Writer on wheels

I just put new wheels on my writing chair. That may not seem like a big thing to you but to be able to push back in my chair and not have a wheel lock up and jar me to a stop or not have the chair shoot off at 45 degrees from where I want it to go is great.

This chair is so old that the ball bearing had fallen out of the swivel part of two of the wheels. That and some rust made for wheels that had a mind of their own.

I can’t afford a new chair but with a little work using an electric drill motor and drill bit I got the new wheels to fit. One of these days I will replace the chair with one that has the mesh-breathable-fabric seat. I had a HermanMiller Aeron chair at the day job once but I may never be able to afford the $700.00 to $1500.00 for one of those. I will take a open mesh seat over a leather upholstered chair any day.

It’s a little thing but little things like cleaning up the writing area can improve your mood and help get writing done.


Write on, draw on.  Professor Hyram Voltage

Spam fighting on a WordPress blog site

I recently installed Akismet plugin on this BLOG page to combat the spam.

Akismet moves what it thinks is spam to a spam folder. It may also may move things that are not spam to the spam folder. I checked many of the comments in the spam folder and did not find any normal comment in the ones that I checked but there were tens of thousands of spam comments in the folder. The spammer are very smart and they won’t stop. They make their comments sound like they are interested in what you have written then it’s followed by the request to email back. If you didn’t know about the URL or email addresses being linked to spammers you would think you were emailing an ordinary person not get caught in a baited trap. I have never emailed back yet the spam keeps coming stronger than ever.

There was so much stuff in the spam folder that I erased it all (that’s a handy feature of Akismet) without checking all the comments. There were ten of thousands of comments in the folder.

If you commented and I deleted your comment I am sorry.

I do not know if Akismet is the best program. I am not a BLOG or WordPress programmer but the Akismet program has helped.

The spammers have won.


Write on, draw on.    Professor Hyram Voltage

The Artist Space Time Continuum

Artist and writers work on different time scales, continuums, universes. That was brought home to me the other day when I asked my artist when the next set of drawings will be ready. I asked nicely, non-aggressively. His reply was “We only have 30 pages to go, what’s your hurry.”

30 pages to go we’re almost done. OK, it’s more like 70 pages to go (I’m having problems with the length of the story) but we have 130 pages penciled, the end is in sight. The artist still has to ink and color the drawings, but inking is straight forward and with tight pencils does not require a lot of creativity. Coloring may take as long as the penciling but I’m excited we are getting close to a major milestone in making this graphic novel.

Is the disconnect that artists spend hours on getting the line that represents the character’s eyebrow right while he believes the writer just has to spend a couple of hours to dash off a complete 100 page story. I spent years working on this story and in the time it’s taken the artist to pencils the pages I have almost completed a novel and the second volume of the graphic novel.


Write on, draw on.  Professor Hyram Voltage

A modest proposal to save water

California is short of water. Since water doesn’t grow on trees we need to stop wasting water and stop now.

Early the other morning I was driving a friend to breakfast. We stopped two blocks from my house to turn onto a major street through town. The sprinklers system was on watering the vegetation in the center median of the major street. It was also watering the street from one side to the other. Cars were zipping through the wet street sending water every where. This was during daylight not some midnight accident.

Several blocks later we drove past the Department of Motor Vehicles offices. Their sprinklers were on full blast. Those sprinklers did not have near as much over spray but one sprinkler head had broken off and a fountain of water was shooting straight up four or more feet.

My recommendation to remediate this type of problem is to put someone in charge. Both these instances were before normal working hours and it would be expensive and inefficient to have someone watch the sprinklers. But during working hours a person at the city or state office could be charged with making sure water is not wasted. Offices for the state and many city offices are not owned by the state or city, still the office water Czar could work with the owner of the building and the ground keeping contractor to insure there is no over spray, no broken sprinklers, that the timers for the sprinklers are set to come on only twice a week and only come on after dark. All these measures would show the tax payer that the state is trying to save water (even when it is the building owner who is wasting water).

Additional action could be for state owned building to put in artificial turf or rock gardens. A visit to Tuscon Arizona could show how well that can be done.

The state could help fund cities so that they can put in drip irrigation systems to replace spray type sprinklers.

These simple measures would make the state and cities look like they are not wasting water.

Write on, draw on.    Professor Hyram Voltage