Monday, June 1, 2009

We Now Return You To Your Regularly Scheduled Rant

Well folks, its been a real tough week, with lots of ups and downs; more downs than ups I'm sad to say. To start things off right, I'll say that I've gotten my first paid story published. It'll be posted on Mindflights Magazine sometime within the next few months. I don't know exactly when. It's a modified version of my story "Shinkyo Bridge" that they bought.

I should probably give a little back-story as I've been trying to get something published with them for a while now. They are a "Christian Oriented" magazine that does lots of science fiction and fantasy stuff. I first wrote for them a story detailing the events of a monastery on the English borderlands successfully repelling an attack by marauding Icelandic vikings around 1050 AD. It was a true story, I might add, and heralded the breaking of the viking stranglehold on northern Europe as they were converted to Christianity over time. It was engaging, full of action, and had a very pro-Christian message. They rejected it immediately, citing they didn't understand a lot of the terms I was using regarding the church, Christianity, and prayer.

These people are a friggin Pro-Christian magazine and they don't know what a miter is! Anyway, just to piss them off. I sent them Shinkyo Bridge, a story following around a Zen Buddhist samurai who fights off demons. And these people want to print it! I'm still rolling on the floor over that one.

Now on to the bad news. I've been having some serious computer problems as of late, meaning my updates may be erratic. I received a mini-laptop not too long ago; an ASUS eee pc model 900 HA. It works well for portable word-processing and internet surfing, which is great for typing without having to coop myself up in my room all day.

Only a month old and yesterday it went kabloowie. Apparently it lost a file from its own operating system and can't boot up until I insert the boot disc. Problem, the thing doesn't come with a frigging disc drive! Why they give me a boot disc with no disc drive I will never know.

Anyway I've sent it off to the manufacturer to get fixed. I can live without it for a few weeks, but the thing that really has me incensed is that I had about half a dozen unfinished short stories and the beginnings of a novel on the hard-drive, and didn't have time to make back-ups. I'm down on my knees praying that it will return with those files intact. In the meantime I'm rewriting what I can remember, but I know its not nearly as complete or well-written as what I already had.

As if that weren't enough, my tower is ailing as well. It's got a virus called Vundo, which embeds itself in the Windows operating system and multiples. Unfortunately Microsoft makes it real difficult to mess with the OS, though the virus seems to be having no trouble with it. So now I'm stuck swapping phone calls and emails with the tech support people in India. It'll be another week before the stupid thing is gone, and not before I've had to chew out a few people who say that they can't help me any further. I had to do this about 8 months ago for the same damn virus, meaning that my virus protection software isn't doing the job. I'll be speaking with their customer service reps and ask why I should be bothering to pay them if their software isn't worth the box it came in when this is all over.

Have you noticed that the call center people in India have been trying really hard to cover their accents as of late? They used to speak quite plainly, but now they give me an American sounding name and speak with a really bad southern accent to try to give the impression they're not Indian. Guess they're catching flak over taking American jobs, can't say I blame them.

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