Category Archives: #TeamAlpaca

Hello Sir. I Am Recently Ousted Nigerian Minister of Memes with Cash Moneys For You

So I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award. By friend and fellow blogger Kit Campbell, she of the light brown-haired alpaca poetry and devoid of hair marauding landsquid fame.

I don’t know if this nomination is a compliment, a pity nomination, or merely an attempt to prod me into updating this blog.

Given the chaos in my life lately, and the need for an ego boost, I will assume the first.

But deep down, whispers that dark voice in my head, you know it’s really the second.

My deep down dark voice can be such a jerk when not telling me, in an Austrian accent, to kill them all before it’s too late.

Yes, my deep down dark voice has an Austrian accent. And not the friendly, “Ah’ll be baaack” Arnie kinda accent.

Evidently there are rules to this Liebster thing, including the requirement I meme-spam ten other bloggers with nominations in order to stay in the running.

Well, I’m not gonna do that. I don’t care if it means I won’t win. Thing’s probably fixed anyway.

I’ve done some digging into the Liebster Award and the shadowy organization behind it. Turns out these people (if they’re even people) are into some pretty shady stuff.

Unspeakable, hateful stuff I can’t mention here without leaving you in a nightmare-fueled, fetal-positioned coma.

Please don't turn me into a carpet - I want to grow up and live on a mysterious tropical island that inspires a great TV show that has a suck-ass finale.

Baby albino panda cubs have one natural enemy: club-wielding baby seals.

The worst of the speakable stuff is their involvement in the albino panda rug trade.

It sickens me to think about all those baby albino pandas, selectively bred in albino panda cub mills (kept icy cold to increase the odds of albino births) and then clubbed to death when their fur is at its most sexually potent.

Seeing someone lie on it does even less for me than eating the hair-ball inducing mess.

Oh, you’re supposed to *lie* on them! Dammit.

I don’t care how many people make up the collective wisdom of China, albino panda furs have absolutely no impact on sexual stamina or prowess.

I should know. I’ve eaten enough of the damn hides right before a date, and have yet to be declared a sex god.

Usually those sessions end with disappointed grunts or, more often, unfulfilled sighs.

You’d think the Missus would be resigned to it by now.

On a related note – albino panda hides, and probably other Ursidae hides, not only will spoil your appetite right before a dinner date, but also do not help with halitosis.

But I will, as I swirl the chocolate milk in my snifter, answer Kit’s deep and probing questions.

I’ve got to give the identity thieves something to go on, right?

What is your favorite ’50s-’70s era television?

Favorite? You mean I have to choose between Star Trek, Doctor Who, The Prisoner, The Dukes of Hazzard, Mork and Mindy, and Knight Rider?

Man, that’s a hard question. I’m going to go with Sanford and Son.

When did you decide to start a blog?

Shortly before my first book came out. Conventional wisdom was that in addition to having a hit song about your book on Spotify, you need to have an active blog, twitter feed, tumblr queue, and facebook account so people will magically be drawn to your books.

Didn’t work. First, I’m a terrible singer and the song never took off. Plus, due to some initial poor tagging decisions on my part, this blog only draws people seeking pictures of Blake Shelton naked.

It’s a little disturbing how many countries harbor mentally disturbed fetishists hankering for a hunk of Blake.

Is this your first blog?

Yes. And based on the warning letters I keep getting from the UN referencing Article 1 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, it will likely be my last.

Unless I ever get the time to launch my Blake Shelton Naked Fan Art blog. But before that can happen, I need to learn not just how to draw, but how to draw the naked male figure.

In freaky deaky positions.

Oh, and how to draw Blake Shelton.


What’s the best book you’ve read in the last year?

Are we including the zillion Magic Tree House books I’ve read to my kiddos? Because that would make it tricky.

Let’s limit it to the last four days. In a fit of insanity, I’ve read four books in that period.

If you exclude the kiddos’ books.

I’m gonna go with Charles Stross’ The Fuller Memorandum, one of his Laundry Files novels. It’s British urban fantasy, sort of, like the Dreseden Files if Harry were an IT professional working for a spy agency that deals with Cthulhu.

They are awesome. I think one book won a Hugo.

Marvel or DC?

Huh? What does that mean? Did you mean do I marvel at the accomplishments of Thomas Edison and his amazing Direct Current?

Sorry, more of a Telsa fan.

Kirk or Picard?

Please. The answer is self-evident.

If a landsquid knocked on your door, would you give him a cookie?

Have you not read If You Give A Landsquid A Cookie? The consequences, they would be catastrophic. And not just for my home state.

Though I would understand if you haven’t read it. Apparently it went out of print…before the first edition even came out.


How does it make you feel that it is already October?

Happy. I love October.

The cool, grey skies.

The evening chill.

The thrumming impact of rain on the roof of my car as I am consigned by the Missus, yet again, to sleep in it after the albino panda fur once more fails me.

And, if I’m lucky, thunder and lightning.

Would you rather be attacked by ceiling turtles or a pack of telekinetic squirrels?

That’s a toughie. Couldn’t I be attacked by both instead, and then draw each to the attention of the other? Telekinetic squirrels are famously intolerant of turtles, and the turtles would take one look and think, “Oooh, squirrels. Where are the bird feeders they like to hang around and burgle? Bird seed is my second most favorite food, right after raw squirrel meat!”

But remind me to Scotch-guard my clothes first, so the blood comes off more easily.

If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would it be?

A neo-steam pig. Domesticated, of course, and retired from the police force.

(They’re like greyhounds: once deemed unsuitable for their primary purpose – racing in the case of greyhounds, police brutality in the case of neo-steam pigs – they are euthanized if no one adopts them.

Which is just wrong. Unless the neo-steam pig is an IA rat. Then I say, bacon all around!


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Is that a hug, or are you trying to kill me with compressive stress?

Young’s Modulus aside, stress isn’t just tensile or compressive.

Stress is a toddler waking you at 2am, screaming about a nightmare he refuses to discuss.

Stress is having a crisis at work that forces you to stay late and work over the weekends in order to save the company.

Stress is, less than a week before the end of the month, bolting awake (shortly after finally drifting back to sleep post toddler’s nightmare scream-fest) and realizing you completely forgot about your promise to read a friend’s book and provide feedback by the end of the month.

Stress is a neighbor’s car alarm going off at 4am, triggered by the feral cats that march in a continuous, unseen stream to defecate on your lawn, shortly after you’ve managed to drift back to sleep after recovering from the double-whammy of an extremely vocal toddler with a bad dream problem and remembering you have less than five days to read a friend’s nine hundred page tome about sentient moss that declares war on landsquid using flying alpacas as a proxy army.

All after pulling an eighteen hour day at work.

Stress is the coffee maker, already hard-pressed to meet your caffeine requirements, shuddering violently, sloshing you with scalding hot but still not coffeed-up water, and then giving up the ghost the morning after all the above.

Oh yeah, and stress can also be shear.

But even though stress isn’t just tensile or compressive (or shear) doesn’t mean that it doesn’t feel that way when you experience it.

There is good news, though, so don’t abandon all hope ye who clicked here and read.

The good news being there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The tunnel held up by supports under a great deal of compressive stress.

And hopefully zero shear stress.

The toddler will grow out of the night terror stage.

Or end up institutionalized at a psychiatric facility well out of earshot.

The crisis at work will be solved, and your schedule return to normal.

Or it won’t be, and the company will fold and you’ll find yourself with a lot of free time to relax and not worry about work.

The friend will be understanding, given all the stress you are under, and not hold it against you when you warn her that the critique will be late.

Or she will hate you till the end of her days, spitefully poisoning your reputation amongst your shared circle of writer friends, thus ensuring no more beta requests ever cross your desk.

Those feral cats will die, eventually, and their population will stabilize, eventually, so that the fecal flood zone will stop rising, probably long before it hits your front porch.

Or you’ll be arrested for discharging a shotgun in a public place at 2am, and PETA will put you on their ‘boycott and send hate mail’ list, causing your book sales to briefly spike but ultimately bottom out as people read the press and police reports and realize what a psychotic bastard you are.

Especially when they find out about the four-year old you packed off to an institution just so you could sleep at night.

The coffee machine can be replaced, assuming that work crisis is solved and you still have a job. And those burns will heal, after a long and painful period that introduces you to a level of misery you had no idea could exist.

Or, if you’re lucky, the hot water plus an energized but malfunctioning coffee maker will result in you being fatally electrocuted.

In that case, all your other problems won’t seem quite so serious.

I thought writing this post would help, but all in all, I find I’m not feeling any better about my stress levels.

In fact, I think I’m experiencing shear terror.


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The end of our civilization could have been avoided if my parents had just bought me a dog as a kid

I have something I need to get off my chest. A horrible crime. A crime against Humanity.

Committed by a child.

Committed by me.

When I was a young grade schooler, my parents wouldn’t buy me a dog. They said it was about personal responsibility, about feeding and otherwise caring for the dog, but I know now that isn’t true.

It was about dog hair. It gets everywhere.

As someone who has since owned dogs, I understand where they were coming from. But at the time, I was bitterly disappointed.

My parents’ choice of substitution for a pet did little to ease this bitterness.

A hermit crab.

Or, more accurately, a string of tragically doomed hermit crabs.

At first, when left alone with my pet hermit crab in its makeshift tank filled with gravel and a little water, I just grumbled under my breath about the unfairness of it all using cuss words my parents didn’t realize I knew.

I also took to poking and prodding my hermit crab.

With my finger.

Now at face value, that seems like a pretty unwise course of action. And in general, I would agree because, as expected, I did get bitten.

Okay, bitten or pinched, or maybe both, I honestly don’t know which actually applies. But whichever it was, it hurt.

But the lesson I took away from that was not ‘don’t poke the hermit crab.’

Alright, the primary lesson I took away was not that. Instead, I admired that hermit crab for the tenacity with which it clung to my throbbing, bleeding finger. I realized that with a little guidance, this will and tenacity could be sculpted into something truly amazing.

Not to mention dangerous.

So I started building new tanks for my hermit crabs. Hermit crabs because they ended up needing to be replaced often. If my parents had ever suspected why, they would’ve put a stop to my work and perhaps saved us all a lot of trouble.

These new tanks were designed to stretch the hermit crabs’ minds, to challenge them and to weed out the weak and the stupid.

It worked.

As my culling of the herd continued, the tanks became more and more diabolical and fiendish in their design.

I can’t find the detailed notes I kept of my experiments (if memory serves, I burned them), but I do remember some details:

  • Mazes dead ending into the base of a blender modified with a pressure sensor set in the floor.
  • Oiled ramps that led down to hot coals.
  • Electrified floor panels placed along the most direct route to food.
  • A series of inter-connected tubes, filled with smoke to drive the hapless hermit crab towards a waiting, ravenous crab spider.
  • And in one brief but disastrous experiment, a shallow pool with a hungry landsquid lying in wait.

That last one caused major problems in its own right once the landsquid figured out how to escape.

Due to my parents’ continuing refusal to purchase a dog, my unholy crustacean experiments continued for years. I went through an untold number of hermit crabs in my quest to create the perfect pet / killing machine.

My parents just thought I had bad luck and whenever the subject of a pet dog came up, would look at each other and nod knowingly, as if to say, “We were right not to get him a dog.”

If only they’d known the truth.

Don't let his soft, cuddly appearance fool you. This hermit crab was (and still is?) a deadly killer.

Is this the face of a killer? In one word, yes.

My experiments would’ve continued to this day had it not been for Toby.

Toby was my last hermit crab.

Toby successfully ran the gauntlet, and to be frank, in the end I was more than a little afraid of him.

I sure as hell didn’t stick my finger in his tank.

The problem with Toby was that my experiments were too successful. He survived everything I threw at him, including radioactive isotopes (don’t ask how I got them) and lawnmowers. Every time I thought I had come up with something that was sure to kill him, such as the tripwire triggered arc welder, he would sense the trap and sidestep it.

Then he escaped.

At first I wasn’t terribly concerned. I just made sure I didn’t wear open toed sandals, checked under my sheets thoroughly before going to bed, and insisted my mom use hospital corners when making my bed. I felt with these reasonable precautions I was safe.

Then my math and physics textbooks went missing. Oh sure, not all at once, but within the span of a couple months.

I had a pretty good idea who was behind the thefts. Confirmation came when my missing copy of A Brief History of Time turned up with corrections scrawled in the margins.

Corrections written in landsquid ink.

Only one creature was crafty enough to tame the mighty landsquid. I knew then that I had unleashed upon Humanity a terrible monster.

Toby was too smart for me to capture, as my previous experiments had already demonstrated. Clearly, I had only one option left to me.

I burned down our house. I made it look like an electrical fault, and no one else was harmed, but I just don’t know if I succeeded in killing Toby.

After all, all he really needed to do was break into a pet shop and sneak into another hermit crab tank (no problem for a creature of his vast intellect). Then all that remained was to start teaching his brethren.

It’s this chilling thought that keeps me awake at night: that Toby laid the groundwork for a vast army of super intelligent, evil hermit crab descendents that will rise up against us.

My parents should have bought me a damn dog.

And now, a word from our sponsor: me! My books are available!

The Santa Claus Gang:

The Santa Claus Gang: A Marlowe and the Spacewoman short story

Marlowe and the Spacewoman:

Marlowe and the Spacewoman

Kleencut (FREE!):

So bad it won a Voidy for the next THREE consecutive years (would have been FOUR, but 2012 was a leap year)


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The Blog Hop of (Self-Promotional) Shame, or Chain Letter: The Next Generation

My friend and FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive #4 (she’ll kill #3 to move up, no doubt) Kit Campbell tagged me to participate in something called a ‘blog hop’.

I’m not sure how you get a blog to hop; I expect it involves a trampoline, a laptop, and a high likelihood of damaging said laptop. Or perhaps dangerously overclocking your computer. Either way, I’m not sure it’s worth the risk. On the other hand, I’m terrified of Kit.

To avoid Kit’s wrath, I must answer some questions about my latest work in progress, then chain letter five other bloggers (hopefully authors, or this whole exercise doesn’t make any sense) with the same task.

I may or may not be on blogging terms with five other authors, so I might end up breaking this chain and dooming all previous participants to bargain-bin obscurity.

So be it. I only hope Kit is merciful because I tried.

Ve vill find out if you are ze naughty or ze nice. Ve haff vays of making you talk!1) What is the working title of your book?

Crap. The first question would be a toughie.

I’m actually struggling with this question right now. The working title is the unworkably horrible Marlowe and the Spacewoman Versus the Santa Claus Gang. I know.

But hey, you can help a struggling artist out, and I can experiment with WordPress’ polling functionality for the first time.

2) Where did the idea for the book come from?

This is a short story set in the Marlowe and the Spacewoman universe. I originally wrote it years ago as a Christmas story that I sent out to friends and family. I recently decided to revisit (and re-write) the story and make it canon. This proved to be a lot of work, as this short was actually written before the Marlowe and the Spacewoman novel and contradicted the novel in many places.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Science fiction, with a dash of mystery, a touch of humor, and a hint of the absurd. Also, half a cup of milk and a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine-y bits go down.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I could see a young Sigourney Weaver or an old Elle Fanning (with her hair dyed black) playing Nina. But honestly, as long as the actress comes off as vaguely Greek, I don’t care.

Since Marlowe looks like Humphrey Bogart, Bogart would be the perfect casting choice for him, except that actor has been dead for decades. Someone willing to undergo a lot of plastic surgery, I suppose.

House, as always, would be voiced by Stephen Fry. Yes, I know, you hear “House” and “Stephen Fry” and you immediately think I mean “Hugh Laurie”. Well, you’re wrong.

Though Laurie could play Marlowe. Hmm.

5) What is the one two sentence synopsis of your book?

Can Marlowe and Nina stop the redistributionist Santa Claus Gang from stealing the entire stock of the Xmas season’s #1 toy, the Prussian Robot Death Squad Commando Now with Live-Action Grappling Hook!™, saving the poor conglomerate that manufactures it from financial ruin?

Let’s hope so, because remember, corporations are people too.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published. Most of the agencies have restraining orders against me, making finding representation difficult.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I wrote it something like fifteen years ago, so honestly, I can’t remember. But knowing my approach and writing habits back then, I probably cranked that puppy out in one all-nighter.

Ah, to be young again.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I suppose comparing it to Marlowe and the Spacewoman wouldn’t be entirely cricket, would it.

Isidore Haiblum’s Tom Dunjer books come to mind, for those of you who enjoy obscure references.

Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide series.

The missus says the writing reminds her of Terry Pratchett. I can see that, and find it very flattering to boot!

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

When I was young and naïve, I started this tradition of writing Christmas stories and making them into mini books I sent out to friends and family in lieu of a card. This was the second or third such story, and I was hard pressed for an idea. I had recently written a short story called Semi-Sentient Soap Scum on the Prowl (which later became the novel Marlowe and the Spacewoman), and decided to write a sequel.

There might have been rum spiked with a suggestion of eggnog involved, but my memory’s a bit hazy.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Everyone who does not read this book dies within a week of not reading it. Or will, once I release it. So, does the potential of saving your life pique your interest?

Also, if you hadn’t guessed, this story involves Prussian Robot Death Squad Commandos. With Live-Action Grappling Hooks!™ even. Who can resist that?

And now for the truly unpleasant business of dragging other innocent victims into this hopping menace: Regretfully, I condemn Lisa, Scott, and Tamela. I share all my other author blogging friends with Kit, and she already tagged them, leaving me short two. But she is evil, after all.

(If you’re an author, you have your own blog, I haven’t tagged you above, and you’d like to be tagged, let me know and I’d be happy to grow my authorial army to better rival Kit’s.)

And now, a word from our sponsor: me! My books are available!

Marlowe and the Spacewoman:

Marlowe and the Spacewoman

Kleencut (FREE!):

So bad it won a Voidy for the next THREE consecutive years (would have been FOUR, but 2012 was a leap year)


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The REAL Blake Shelton reads, while naked AND nude: Alpaca poetry gone wild

Recently a friend of mine posted about the tags in her blog that generated the most hits.

While I’ve ranted about my most popular tag here already, I thought it was time to a) look at the cold hard statistics, and b) reveal the little experiment I’ve been running.

When asked if I want the good news or the bad news first, I always like to reserve the good news to serve as a balm to help me heal after being kicked in the googlies by the bad news. So here’s the good news:

I’ve been running an experiment, inserting specific, unrelated tags into my blog posts to see which ones generated hits. Here are the tags I used:

  • Blake Shelton naked
  • Wil Wheaton naked
  • Rush Limbaugh naked
  • Benedict Cumberbatch naked

This is good news because science, and its use, is always good news.

Now for the bad news:

I weep for the human race.

‘Rush Limbaugh naked’ only lost to ‘Wil Wheaton naked’ by three percentage points. THREE PERCENTAGE POINTS! RUSH LIMBAUGH? How is that even possible?? Lovecraft couldn’t have imagined a horror that terrifying (or more non-Euclidean in its geometry)! Click on image to see the horror in full-sized clarity.

Clearly there is no hope for Humanity.

The only thing more disturbing than the huge landslide win achieved by ‘Blake Shelton naked’ is all the various misspelled and I-don’t-know-what versions of that phrase dumped into search engines that landed these sick freaks at my blog.

To spare my gentle readers (i.e., those not here to gawk at Blake Shelton), I aggregated them all into the Blake + Shelton + [some form of ‘undressed’] category. Here are some of the more family-friendlyish variations on this nudie Blake concept:

  • the naked blake shelton (not to be confused with all those naked Blake Shelton impersonators)
  • blake shelton gets naked
  • blake shelton nake
  • blake shelton nude fakes (oh wait, there are impersonators out there!)
  • blake shelton completely naked (look, either you’re naked or you’re not naked – none of this I-can’t-decide nonsense in your internet-posted pictures, please. If the focus is so bad I can’t tell whether or not you’re completely naked, don’t bother posting it (though in the case of Blake Shelton, I thank you for the poor focus))
  • black shelten nacked
  • blake shelton nakt

Blake shelton nakt? Is there no end to your depravity, internet?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to rinse my eyes out in bleach, then drill some holes into my skull to destroy two parts of my brain, the section that make mental pictures out of words that I read and the section that remembers those pictures.

And now, a word from our sponsor: me! My books are available!

The Santa Claus Gang:

The Santa Claus Gang: A Marlowe and the Spacewoman short story

Marlowe and the Spacewoman:

Marlowe and the Spacewoman

Kleencut (FREE!):

So bad it won a Voidy for the next THREE consecutive years (would have been FOUR, but 2012 was a leap year)


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Ceiling turtles – not a fluffy friend but an overhead menace!

Ceiling turtles. Ha! What a ridiculous concept. The product of a fevered imagination combined with exposure to high levels of solvent fumes.

Yes, I was skeptical when I first heard of ceiling turtles.

And then my home suffered an infestation.

Don’t let the myths about how gentle and lettuce-loving they are fool you – they’re killers. Demon-spawned, ginger-hair hating killers.

The exterminators tented the house, but the entire city had been evacuated until this Testudines terror has been completely eliminated.

We’re living in a hotel a hundred miles away from the epicenter right now. Minimum safe distance is reportedly fifty miles, but with a family to worry about, I’m playing it safe.

You wouldn’t believe the cost to rid yourself of these raptor-like reptiles. I didn’t. I had to lose a finger before I was willing to pay such an exorbitant fee to an exterminator.

Here’s hoping the Federal declaration of an emergency comes through.

Don’t believe me, eh? Think ceiling turtles are mythological malarkey, eh? Wondering if I might be Canadian with all the ehs, eh? Well, before I realized how dangerous they were, I foolishly stuck around long enough to take some pictures.

Even now, safe under the thin, soiled blankets of my hotel bed, I shudder at my narrow escape.

Photographic proof the Chelonian creepers exist (peruse at your peril!):

Fast-moving bastard tried to nip my ear!

While preferring the heated indoors, they will also set up nests in unheated, outdoor sheds.

Not all that seek the light are good

They prefer well-lit spaces, as they hunt primarily by eyesight.

Indoor ceiling pets

This one's hiding in the most terrifying place of all - the children's play room!

Ask me now if I regret buying a house next to both a turtle habitat and a nuclear test site, and I would answer yes. 20/20 hindsight and all that. But how could I possibly have known back then when I was signing the loan papers that a home next to a turtle habitat and a nuclear test site could be so dangerous?

How, I ask you! How?

And now, a word from our sponsor: me!
My book, Marlowe and the Spacewoman, is out!

Marlowe and the SpacewomanClick here to learn more or order a copy!

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Posted by on 17 February 2012 in #TeamAlpaca, Angst, Life


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Alpaca vs. Landsquid: My invaluable $0.02 (worth $0.02, damn, should have gone with Euros)

While we wait for me to pull another blog post out of my (buttered top) hat (look, nothing up my sleeves!), check out my guest post over at Kit Campbell’s blog, Where Landsquid Fear to Tread (hint: it’s everywhere you might encounter alpaca).

My post on the wily alpaca and why it would handily defeat the slouching landsquid can be found here:

It is a rebuttal to the shameless landsquid propaganda propagated by KD Sarge in her own guest post on Kit’s blog found here: (don’t believe her LIES!!!!)

We will return to our regularly scheduled blog posts momentarily.

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Posted by on 11 May 2011 in #TeamAlpaca

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