Saturday, December 20, 2003

Winter Solstice

In a few more moments the solstice will be exact. Woo-hoo. That means tomorrow there will be one second more light in the day. Other than that, there's a new entry in the Cockroach Diary. I'm leaving tomorrow for a week or two. It's just past 11pm and I still haven't packed. Instead I sit here fiddling on the computer. ARG! Back to work.

Monday, December 15, 2003

The Readable Theatre event on Saturday night at Comma Coffee went really well. The material ranged from the profound, to the nitty-gritty down and dirty, the silly, heartwarming and hilarious. People were asking when we were going to do it again. Poetry on a Saturday night. Ya gotta love that. I don't think I'll be able to put together another one before we leave in February so it will probably be spring at the earliest. Then I'd like to do a reading of another one act I'm working on called Sunday Feast . This one's a little more complicated than Ghostwriter but will still do well in a reader's theatre format.

Monday, December 8, 2003

I've added a new winner to the DeadBeat Gallery, renamed the page and moved it to a different folder. Sorry but the only constant in this world, after all, IS change. Anyway, here's the new address for The DeadBeat Gallery JPG Parisite Page. BTW, I just learned that this leech technique is called hotlinking. Thanks Lars.

Friday, December 5, 2003

Finally, I can see The Cat! Here's the stunning conclusion to the mystery of the missing Cat for everyone who helped me with the problem.

It's been about a month since I changed webhosts, and it took until yesterday for me to see The Cat. I must be the last person on Earth to see my website at its new location! The Cat was the special sign distinguishing the new site from the old. The problem had to be with my ISP, although they denied it to the very end. It's a wireless, broadband service and they claim they don't use proxy servers but they had to have a secret cache somewhere they weren't willing to clear. So, thanks again everyone for the help.

As for Wildhorse, I'm still getting a few hits from him, so it looks like he didn't completely clear the photo he's been leeching from me. Oh well.

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Well, ol' WildHorse got wise to the swap so now, he's leeching off of someone else. It was fun while it lasted.

Monday, December 1, 2003

December 1st and still no Cat. That illustrates just how lazy I can be. However, in my defense, I've been busy. This week I've got to dump this DNS problem back on my ISP. They have got to have some hidden cache somewhere that's preventing me from seeing my website at it's new location.
December 1st and still no Cat. That illustrates just how lazy I can be. However, in my defense, I've been busy. This week I've got to dump this DNS problem back on my ISP. They have got to have some hidden cache somewhere that's preventing me from seeing my website at it's new location.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

It's not a cache problem after all. I purged my computer and the network and still no cat. Damn. So now I have a call into my ISP. Fun. My webhost suggested that I change my ISP. Fat chance. We live on the edge as it is. There isn't much in the way of options. So now I'm waiting for Tech Support to get back to me.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

The Cat. At least when when I'm viewing my site anonymously. Guess I didn't completely clear the cache. So, off to the coal mines.
Many thanks to everyone who emailed about whether or not they can see the cat on my website. At this point, seems I'm the only one who can't. I still don't know why.

Yes, I've flushed the cache, installed a different browser...no Cat. As I'm writing this, I'm downloading a little cloaking program from Anonymizer.com. If I can see the cat while I'm in anonymous mode then it's my problem.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

So, it's a week later and I'm still waiting for this server change to finish resolving. What can be a simple thing, has become a huge pain in the ass. I've been obsessed for the last week with all this crap. In order to know when the DNS has fully propagated, I put a red, smiley cat face on my new home page. The old site is sans cat. I still see the old site, sans cat, but am assured by my new web host that the new site is up and running. If you don't mind doing me a favor, I'd appreciate it if you'd check out my site and tell me whether or not you see the cat. Remember: cat = new location / no cat = old location. The address is http://www.ashabot.com. My email address on on the front page. Thanks.

Thursday, November 6, 2003

So, at last I've changed DNS servers. If you can't reach my website at the moment it should be just a temporary thing. It takes a few days for the new setting to propagate over the entire web.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

I'm finally back. It's good to be home.

Monday, October 27, 2003

What was supposed to be a weekend trip starting Friday the 10th has turned into nearly three weeks and, three thousand miles later, I'm still not home. At this point, I'm just hoping to get back and change servers before my current web host goes away. Procrastination sucks. If my site shuts down for a day or two, don't worry about it. I'll get it up and running again as soon as I get home. It's been a good trip though, other than the fact that I only packed enough clothes for three days. We went to Southern Oregon, then up to Montana, over to Portland then back down to Southern Oregon, where we are now.

Wednesday, October 8, 2003

I'm out of orbit today, stalled on everything. Here's my notes from Sunday.

Morning, with all its possibilities, looms before me, then rushes past.
Mid-morning. Ideas bob along the horizon like marker buoys in choppy waters.
Noon. I'm completely lost, surrounded by a flat, endless horizon towards which I row my boat in circles.

This has not been a very productive week. I haven't decided on a server and, more than that, I dread making the switch. Up until now, a friend has hosted the Ashabot for free. He set up it up. I have no idea what I'm getting into now. Probably it's no big deal, but thinking about it is making me nuts.

Also, I haven't finished reformating an issue of my zine that needs to get done yesterday. Bad. Very bad.

On the up side, I did find a place to present my one act play, Ghostwriter. It's the Comma Cafe in Carson City. The place has a great little stage, a very comfortable atmosphere and comes at a price I can afford, free. When I asked the proprietor what the space costs she said, "Nothing. It's people helping people". She makes it on the refreshments.

So, here's a little fun a friend sent me. Try it out. While sitting at your desk, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles with it. Now, while doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction. See if you can do both actions without a change of direction. If you can't, you know how I'm feeling tonight.

Thursday, October 2, 2003

I'm going to be switching servers for the Ashabot next week. I hope it will be seamless but if the site is down for a while, it shouldn't be long. I'm not looking forward to doing this but, as the saying goes, "circumstances beyond my control"....

Friday, September 26, 2003

We're back but I can't say I'm particularly happy about stuffing myself into an indoor routine. In spite of some hard miles in the Nevada outback over (a few particularly bad) dirt roads (part of the fun after all), it was a great trip. We saw mountain lion cubs, wild horses and burros, a big, fat, lazy rattlesnake, and we found half-billion year old trilobites in the Wheeler Shale of Western Utah. After we spent a couple of hours at a U-Dig place, for $6 an hour, we struck out on our own and found more for free. For the most part, the shale is on public land. What amazes me the most is that when the trilobites swamed the earth, the Utah of today was located near the equator and covered by a shallow, warm sea! Oddly, a perfect end for all this was poking around Las Vegas for a few days on the cheap.

As soon as we got into Vegas we went to the public library and got on line. While I was fiddling around with my blog and email, Lee went to Cheapo Vegas and found an internet coupon for the Plaza Hotel for $20 a night (great room), plus 2 coupons for their breakfast buffet at the Chop Chop Chinese Restaurant (pretty grim). There was also 2 free nights in December thrown in, which we're planning to take them up on it. As neither of us gambles or drinks, it was an especially great deal.

Vegas Cowgirl

Of course we all know Las Vegas is really just a bowl of smoke with a very dark underbelly, but it is also a very seductive bowl of smoke especially on the strip. Some of the hotels there are completely over the top. Usually we gravitate to the downtown aka Fremont District or "Glitter Gulch". A while ago it was renovated to compete with the strip but Glitter Gulch of old (that's our hotel at the end of the Gutch) is the Vegas you see in the old movies with the rearing palomino horse and the cowgirl living it up under the stars. It's casual (seedy) so basically more our style.

This trip we made a point of checking out the big hotels on the strip. In fact, we spent so much time sitting in the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel people watching, that the security guards started watching us. We moved on. When we passed through the lobby a bit later, they were discretely tossing out some guy who had passed out on the couch where we'd been sitting. His head had dropped way back and his mouth was gaping open.

If you want to read more about my adventures in the Nevada Outback, a place few visit and even fewer write about, email me. I may be able to scrabble up a copy of Dirt Roads to Nowhere.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Outback

I never thought the first mountain lions I'd ever see would be 50 miles out of Las Vegas, but there they were…three fat, tawny spotted, beautiful lion cubs in the most dry and forlorn mountains I've ever visited. It was in the afternoon, two days ago. We were scouting for a camp when Lee noticed something larger than a jack rabbit move in the underbrush growing on the slop below a bluff. Mama must have been out hunting because they were on their own, three children torn between curiosity and caution. We stopped the jeep, pulled out our binoculars and watched them watch us. They looked awhile then, yielding to caution, climbed a little further up the hill, weaving in and our of various caves at the base of the butte. At points they'd sit again and stare at us. Finally they settled down behind some brush and stayed there. We camped not too far down the road but never saw them again. We’re in Las Vegas now, at the public library. This is a much stranger place if you ask me, but kind of fun if you're a human.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

We're in Caliente NV at the moment, using the computers at community computer lab located in the old train station. Great place. All new machines, T1 connection, flat screens. We have the place to ourselves. We've been in this area before but it's worth many return trips. There are lots of Indian artifacts and incredible scenery. We found a couple habitat caves this morning. One even had what was probably a thousand year old pottery shard in it (which we left there). We're off to the White Rock range today for a few days, then south to the Mohave desert, then off to Las Vegas for a couple of days. After nine days out, the contrast will be really jarring, which is the point.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Half billion year old neighbors

The Jeep is finally ready so we're leaving in the morning for about ten days in the mountains along the Nevada/Utah border. We'll be at about eight to twelve thousand feet so if it's too cold at night, we'll just head south. If we stay north, we'll have a chance to look for trilobites which are suppose to be fairly abundant in that area. I'd love to do that. It would great to find some. They lived about a half a billion years ago.

Cockroach pyramid of happiness
L. to R. Ha'Penny, Nugget & La Delicata

Also, I updated the Cockroach Diary today, something I haven't done since last April. I didn't have time to note all the important changes. I'll finish that when I get back. Tonight, they are happily tucked in after the trauma of the bedding change. It's a sweet little scene in there right now. They're all snuggled up together on the end of the terracotta pot. They love it when we're gone. At night the house is quiet and dark.

Sunday, September 7, 2003

I'm planning to do a Reader's Theatre presentation of "Ghostwriter" in conjunction with the Indie Writers Group sometime this fall. At the urging of my brother, I began this script in 1992 for the National Ten-Minute Play Contest hosted by Actors Theatre of Louisville. I wrote a few pages, missed their deadline and put it aside but the idea stayed in the back of my mind. Finally, last winter, I dragged the script out, dusted it off and finished it.

I say finished but, more realistically, Ghostwriter is a work in progress because it seems to hold together in a few different formats and I've only played around with it in one. First off, it's an easy read so it's a short story in dialogue form. I've already published it as such in the third issue of my zine Reddog Review, available this fall at Tower Records. However, because it requires no props or set, it can also be done as a staged reading or radio play. If I do manage to pull off this staged reading, I'm sure the script will change, however slightly, in rehearsal. And, if it does make it to a audience, it will undoubtedly change even further because a live audience adds it's own dimension to things. Lastly, add a minimal set and a few props and it's a one act. I'm sure, if I ever got that far with it, it would change even further.

Saturday, September 6, 2003

We were supposed to leave today for a week in eastern Nevada but the jeep needs some minor work so we won't be leaving until the first part of next week. It will be cold in the mountains at night but still warm during the day. If its too uncomfortable, we'll just head south until we hit a warmer zone.

Thursday, September 4, 2003

It raining like a bitch. Odd for Nevada. The dolls, latest refugees here at the Ashabot, are sitting out in it. I photographed them but the rain doesn't show. I don't know if they're staying around here or not. They're kind of huge and a bit strange. On the other hand, I do need a proof reader. I doubt any one of them would do a worse job than me.
Never mind.

Monday, September 1, 2003

Another nice day. The birds are still at the seeds. I'm in a shit mood, though. I could list a bunch of reasons but it wouldn't change the way I feel. Oh well. Soon it will be dark. A relief, however simple. Here's a curious thing. Birds are everywhere but where are the dead ones? With as many birds as there are, you think you'd see them all over the place. I almost never see dead birds. It's a bit odd.

Sunday, August 31, 2003


End of August.
Birds are shaking seeds out of the sunflowers.
The sky is finally clearing.
It's been a good day.



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