Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Converstations with my son...

Wrestling with my son on the floor one day after work..

Son: The floor might feel a bit weird Dad, Mom vacuumed today.

My wife doesn’t wear heals a lot. She has a pair on for parents night out. She and my son are walking down a hallway.

Son: Oh Mommy, you’re a real woman now.
Mom: Why is that?
Son: Your shoes are making noise.

I am cooking breakfast Sunday morning. My son is chatting me up in the kitchen.

Son: Dad, where do eggs come from?
Me: Chickens.
Son: Where do Chickens come from?
Me: Eggs.
Son: If Chickens come from eggs and eggs come from Chickens--
Me: Go ask your mother.


Going well. Sci-Fi adventure is really clipping along. I have the story played out in my head for the most part. Last week I got my gang in a tough spot that I am trying to get them out of.

Football is around the corner! Go ‘Hawks.

That is all.


Thursday, July 30, 2009


Busted out 40 pages on the new sci-fi adventure. The wife read the first 27 pages and didn’t vomit so that’s good news I guess.

Got a wild hair up my ass and wrote the opening scene to my Sci-Fi mystery during my lunch hour. The scene kept playing over and over in my head so I had to get it down on paper. I don’t know if I am capable or even mature enough to convey the story that I want it to be but I am going to give it a try.

I arrived at a title for the Sci-Fi Adventure finally. Took awhile but I think it’s compelling. Everyone I’ve pitched the idea to seems to be interested.

What the fuck is up with Sc-Fi channel going all retarded and renaming itself SyFy? What, is that easier to text or some shit?

Played Munchkin the other night. Fun game. It’s like Magic meets a college drinking game.

Hot as shit here in Seattle. I finally passed out from heat exhaustion around 2am last night.

I finally picked up the last Potter book. Almost done with it. Mixed emotions right now but will wait and see how it ends.

That is all.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Just when you think you are doing something write...


Went to the ScriptShark seminar this weekend hosted by the Northwest Screenwriters guild here in Seattle. Had a great time, learned some good stuff and met some incredible people. Lee Zahavi-Jessup was great. Straight forward, no nonsense and honest answers.

Towards the end we broke into groups and gave two minute pitches of our current stories. I stumbled horribly through mine because I have no clue how to pitch shit at this point. When I was done one of the gentlemen in the group asked a simple plot question.


I just completely overlooked that element. It shatters the base of the story. But it was awesome. It’s exactly what I needed. Input from others. Especially others that are not necessarily into supernatural thrillers or sci-fi.

I really wish IQCrash hadn’t bagged his online writes group. I haven’t been able to find one where I am at. I have to start getting input from other people besides my wife (who I love and adore fiercely) and friends. Hopefully some of the contacts I make at the monthly guild meetings will produce something.

So with that I am shelving my current story until a get an idea of how to fix the issue. I tend to have my best moments in the shower or right when I wake up and can still remember my fucked up dreams. Something will whisper to me sooner or later. Until then it’s on to my spaceship in the clouds adventure!

That is all.


P.S. Yes I meant “write” in the title.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ow my head!

“One must let go in order to be free.”

I think that you can tell and show a person every lesson in life’s handbook. But its not until that person experiences the situation that they truly understand the lesson.

This happened to me last night in an enlightening moment while I was writing. The last few nights I have not been happy with the way the story has been going. To cluttered. Story wasn’t right. I wasn’t having fun with it.

So I slashed and burned about a dozen pages taking with it two of my supporting characters that weren’t working for me. It was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

I find myself writing into these dark and dank places a lot. Last night I learned that it’s easy to back up, use the delete key and head in the right direction.

Wish I could do that with life sometimes. Maybe you can…

That is all.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Here I go again on my own...

Time for a monthly update I suppose…

Struggling to finish my first script. I have several stories queued up to write. I need to get this one out of the way. Doing a good job of writing two hours Saturday mornings at Starbucks. I need to make sure I get a few pages done each day of the week now.

Conversations with my son…

He is reading Dr. Suess’s ABC book. I tell him that the pictures show him what words he is reading so use them. He sounds the next word out; C… a… m… e… l… He struggles a bit. I ask him what the picture is… “It’s a Llama Dad.”

As I am leaving for work one morning.. ‘Dad, don’t forget your iPot”. “Ssshh buddy not so loud”.


"Drag Me to Hell" was awesome. I expected it to be another silly movie about weddings and marriage staring that flaming wench Katherine Heigl but I was pleasantly surprised!

“Up” was great. Saw it in Digital 3D. Blew me away. Son loved it. He wanted it on DVD before we got to the car.

That is all.


Monday, May 18, 2009

If at first you don't succeed whine and cry until Dad's ears bleed...

You ever see those commercials on TV where the Dad is teaching his son or daughter how to ride a bike. It’s all smiles right. The Dad runs behind the kids bike and lets go. The kid sails gloriously down the sidewalk, the tall flag attached to the seat waving triumphantly in the air as the kid wobbles his way to bike riding glory…

Well that is total horse shit.

Saturday my wife and I taught my son how to ride his bike. It was nothing but crying, yelling, and cussing… on both sides.

He wanted to quit, ride his scooter, play on the playground, clean his room, do the dishes, wash the car, finish his homework… pretty much anything other than get back on the bike and try again.

But we held strong, refusing to let him quit. And after one of the most miserable hours in our families history… he was up and riding his bike around the park. And I am proud of my little buddy.

Of course we didn’t bring a camera…

Pulled off a double feature this weekend. Angels and Demons Saturday and Star Trek on Sunday night.

A&D was ok. Still think Tom is out of his wheel house on this character. Another scavenger hunt with an foreign hottie-with-a-naughty-body in tow. It was entertaining. The best part was all the shots of the Large Hadron Collider. Worst part was the disorienting shots of the Large Hadron Collider and when the camera spins really fast around character for a reaction shot. C+.

Star Trek was pretty good. I think we are going to see a few more flicks with this crew. Lots of laugh, decent action, good actors. I didn’t get the chills when I first saw the enterprise like I did with the first Star Trek movie. But this is a new crew in an [SPOILER REMOVED – GO SEE THE MOVIE] so I am excited to see where it goes. Who knew Uhura was that fricken hot in her younger days… damn. B.

Writing is moving along. I bought a motivational book at the recommendation of some good friends of mine. The Success Principles. With my daily schedule so tight most of the time writing falls to second or third on the list of shit I do at night. Need to work on moving it up to first.

Pitched a new idea to some friends this weekend. It’s a sci-fi action adventure with a dash of Independence Day mixed in with some Explorers that starts with a very obscure phenomenon that has been occurring throughout history that scientists have not nailed down yet that I attribute to a theory that’s way out there. Fun stuff. More later.

That is all.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Where the hell did he come from?

Slow work day so I thought I would toss a post on the blog…

Saw X-Men Origins: Wolverine last night.

I liked it. Decent twists, great action. Films like these are really hard to pull off in my opinion and here’s why.

Everyone in the comic universe knows where Wolverine is headed through comics or the three X-Men flicks. This makes it hard to create a compelling story that tells us where he started and takes us up to the point in the first X-Men movie where he’s kicking the shit it out of people in a dive somewhere in Canada.

I think Jackman did a decent job holding the story. Plus he runs around a lot of the time shirtless, sometimes pantless, with his muscles glistening which should please the ladies. I thought Liev Schreiber was awesome as Sabertooth.

I suspect they would have been better served had they stayed truer to the Wolverine: Origins comic book series which I found compelling.

I give it a B-.

Writing is going well. On page 30 or so of the rewrite. Would love to get the script registered and passed out to a small circle of folks soon.

I think for my next story I am going to do a thinner outline. I found that while I was doing my rewrite some really good ideas started popping out on the page. While I still think I need at least a high level road map of where I am going I like the freedom of surprising myself on the page.

I highly recommend visiting Scriptshadow (See the blog link on the right side of the page) every weekday and reading the scripts he posts. It’s educational and for me at least it is a very good motivator to write.

That is all.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Adding Progress Bars to Blogger

For those of you wanting to add progress bars to your blogger page here is how to do it.

Go to your Blogger account.

Click on Layout -> Edit HTML.

Scroll down the HTML code of your template until you see something like…

/* Comments Format

Paste the following script just above this line.

/* ~~~~~~~~~~~~Progress Bars~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
----------------------------------------------- */
.prog-border {
height: 16px;
width: 214px;
background: #fff;
border: 1px solid silver;
margin: 0
padding: 0;

.prog-bar {
height: 6px;
margin: 2px;
padding: 0;
background: #33775f;

.prog-bar_blu {
height: 14px;
margin: 1px;
padding: 1;
background: #A4AEC4;

.prog-bar_grn {
height: 14px;
margin: 1px;
padding: 1;
background: #A5D63E

.prog-bar_ora {
height: 14px;
margin: 1px;
padding: 0;
background: #FCBD42

.prog-text {
height: 10px;
margin: 0px;
padding: 0;
white-space: nowrap;
text-align: left;
text-indent: 4px;
font-size: 10px;
font: 75% Arial,Helvetica,Verdana,Sans-serif;
color: #000000;


Save the template.

Click on Page Elements.

Add a Gadget.

Select HTML/JavaScript.

Open the gadget and paste the following code in the content box.

<div align="center">Sci-Fi Action</div>
<div class="prog-border">
<div style="width:90%;" class="prog-bar_grn">
<div class="prog-text">Editing</div>

<p> <p>

<div align="center">Comedy</div>
<div class="prog-border">
<div style="width:10%;" class="prog-bar_ora">
<div class="prog-text">Breaking Story</div>


This will give you two progress bars. Obviously you can remove or add however many you want by duplicated the script.

To change the progress increase the “width:80%;” to whatever you need. Only go up to 99% as any more makes the progress bar look odd at the end.

To change colors just change the class=”prog-bar_grn” to one of the following…

class=“prog-bar” for standard.
class=“prog-bar_blu ” for blue.
class=“prog-bar_grn” for green.
class=“prog-bar_ora” for orange.

If you feel adventurous you can go back to editing the HTML and add new progress bars. Find the script progress bar script you added and put in a new progress bar with a new name;

.prog-bar_grat {
height: 14px;
margin: 1px;
padding: 0;
background: #F8FAF8;


That is all.


Capturing Soft Keys Events in Windows Mobile 6

During the course of a work day I google coding questions or examples at least ten times. The software engineering community is strong and I’ve always gotten the answer or at the very least been lead in the right direction.

It’s not my job to know everything about coding. It’s my job to solve the problem so if I find a solution on the web then I use it.

I recently encountered an issue with capturing soft key events from a Windows Mobile device. I ran across several projects that either didn’t work or the solution was suspect. After a few days of reading and testing applications I created a tailored solution that works for me.

Since I was unable to find an accurate solution to my specific problem I am publishing the finished class. The majority of the code came from Paul Kimmel and this article at developer.com.


His solution is for standard windows and has a few issues. I converted his class to work with Windows Mobile 6 and fixed the bugs and errors that were presented when running the code in the Compact Framework.

I want to give a little something back to the community which I rely on so heavily. Feel free to contact me with any questions by leaving a comment along with your contact information.

The best way to get the code is to copy from the first header down. Paste it in Word so it formats it then cut and paste the code into an empty class in your project.

That is all.


---------------- CODE ----------------

'* Class: cKeyBoardHook
'* Description:
'* Encapsulates the keyboard hook functions.

Imports System.Runtime.InteropServices
Imports System.Reflection
Imports System.Drawing
Imports System.Threading

Public Class cKeyboardHook

' Passes on the key to be processed by the form.
Public Event ProcessKey(ByVal pKey As Keys)

#Region "P/Invoke Declarations"

<dllimport("coredll.dll", SetLastError:=True)> _
Private Shared Function UnhookWindowsHookEx(ByVal hHook As Integer) as Integer
End Function

<dllimport("coredll.dll")> _
Private Shared Function SetWindowsHookEx(ByVal idHook As Integer, _
ByVal lpfn As KeyboardHookDelegate, _
ByVal hmod As Integer, _
ByVal dwThreadId As Integer) As Integer
End Function

<dllimport("coredll.dll")> _
Private Shared Function GetAsyncKeyState(ByVal vKey As Integer) As Int16
End Function

<dllimport("coredll.dll")> _
Private Shared Function CallNextHookEx(ByVal hHook As Integer, _
ByVal nCode As Integer, _
ByVal wParam As Integer, _
ByVal lParam As KBDLLHOOKSTRUCT) As Integer
End Function

<dllimport("coredll.dll")> _
Private Shared Function GetModuleHandle(ByVal moduleName As String) As Integer
End Function

#End Region

#Region "Structures/Constants"

' Keyboard structure
Public vkCode As Integer
Public scanCode As Integer
Public flags As Integer
Public time As Integer
Public dwExtraInfo As Integer
End Structure

' Low-Level Keyboard Constants
Private Const HC_ACTION As Integer = 0
Private Const WM_KEYDOWN As Integer = &H100
Private Const WM_KEYUP As Integer = &H101
Private Const WM_SYSKEYDOWN As Integer = &H104
Private Const WM_SYSKEYUP As Integer = &H105

' Virtual Keys
Private Const VK_TAB As Integer = &H9
Private Const VK_CONTROL As Integer = &H11
Private Const VK_ESCAPE As Integer = &H1B
Private Const VK_DELETE As Integer = &H2E

Private Const VK_F1 As Integer = &H70
Private Const VK_F2 As Integer = &H71

Private Const VK_LWIN As Integer = &H5B
Private Const VK_RWIN As Integer = &H5C
Private Const VK_APPS As Integer = &H5D
Private Const VK_OEMC5 As Integer = &HC5

' Common mistake to make this value 13...
Private Const WH_KEYBOARD_LL As Integer = 20

#End Region

#Region "Variables"
Private KeyboardHandle As Integer
#End Region

#Region "Delegates"
Private Delegate Function KeyboardHookDelegate(ByVal Code As Integer, _
ByVal wParam As Integer, _
ByRef lParam As KBDLLHOOKSTRUCT) As Integer
Private callBack As KeyboardHookDelegate
#End Region

#Region "Keyboard Hook Functions"

'* Procedure: HookKeyboard
'* Description:
'* Hooks the keyboard.
Public Function HookKeyboard() As Boolean
Dim iHwnd As Integer = 0

'Assign a function for the callback.
callBack = New KeyboardHookDelegate(AddressOf KeyboardCallback)
'Create the hook, return the handle to the keyboard
KeyboardHandle = SetWindowsHookEx(WH_KEYBOARD_LL, _
callBack, _
GetModuleHandle(Nothing), 0)

'If the handle is zero we're in trouble.
If KeyboardHandle = 0 Then
DebugMessage("ERROR - hook unsuccessful.")
Return False
'Double check the hook.
Return CheckHooked()
End If

Catch ex As Exception
MessageBox.Show(String.Format("cKeyBoardHook::HookKeyboard - {0}", ex.Message))
End Try

End Function

'* Procedure: UnhookKeyboard
'* Description:
'* Unhooks the keyboard.
Public Sub UnhookKeyboard()
If (Hooked()) Then
DebugMessage("Keyboard unhooked")
Call UnhookWindowsHookEx(KeyboardHandle)
End If
End Sub

'* Procedure: CheckHooked
'* Description:
'* Checks to see if we have a hook to the keyboard.
Public Function CheckHooked() As Boolean
If (Hooked()) Then
Return True
DebugMessage("Keyboard hooked")
Return False
DebugMessage("Keyboard hook failed: " & Err.LastDllError)
End If
End Function

'* Procedure: KeyboardCallback
'* Description:
'* Delegate function for the keyboard hook to call.
Private Function KeyboardCallback(ByVal Code As Integer, _
ByVal wParam As Integer, _
ByRef lParam As KBDLLHOOKSTRUCT) As Integer

If (Code = HC_ACTION) Then
'Define Key event otherwise it will fire for both KeyUp and KeyDown
If (wParam = WM_KEYUP Or wParam = WM_SYSKEYUP) Then
DebugMessage("Calling IsHooked")
'Pass the structure in.
If (IsHooked(lParam)) Then
'If we processed the key do NOT pass it on.
Return 0
'Not a keystroke we care about so send it on.
Return CallNextHookEx(KeyboardHandle, Code, wParam, lParam)
End If

End If

End If

Catch ex As Exception
MessageBox.Show(String.Format("cKeyBoardHook::KeyboardCallback - {0}", _
End Try

End Function

'* Procedure: IsHooked
'* Description:
'* Implement this function to trap as many key combinations as you'd like.
'* Return true if you want to block the key, False to pass it on.
Private Function IsHooked(ByRef Hookstruct As KBDLLHOOKSTRUCT) As Boolean

Dim retVal As Boolean = False

'Use GetAsyncKeyState to see if an additional key was pressed.
'I.E. Tab, Shift, Control etc.

'If CInt(GetAsyncKeyState(VK_CONTROL)) <> 0 Then
' 'Control Key has been pressed.
'End If

'F1 & F2 are the predefined soft keys for the device.
Select Case Hookstruct.vkCode
Case VK_F1
'Send the key on to the application.
RaiseEvent ProcessKey(Keys.F1)
retVal = True

Case VK_F2
'Send the key on to the application.
RaiseEvent ProcessKey(Keys.F2)
retVal = True

'Block left windows key
DebugMessage("Left Windows Key")
retVal = True

'Block right windows key
DebugMessage("Right Windows Key")
retVal = True

'Block Applications key
DebugMessage("Windows Application Key")
retVal = True

'Blocking this key to prevent window launch
DebugMessage("OEM C5")
retVal = True

Case Else
retVal = False
End Select

Return retVal

Catch ex As Exception
MessageBox.Show(String.Format("cKeyBoardHook::IsHooked - {0}", ex.Message))
End Try

End Function

'* Procedure: DebugMessage
'* Description:
'* Post the message to debug or a log.
Private Sub DebugMessage(ByVal Text As String)
End Sub

'* Procedure: Hooked
'* Description:
'* Are we hooked?
Public Function Hooked() As Boolean
Hooked = KeyboardHandle <> 0
End Function

#End Region

End Class

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Second draft of my first screen is completed, printed out, and simmering on my desk. I am breaking the story of my next project for the next few days. Then it's back for a final edit before I send it out to folks for a read.

Stay tuned.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Damn I love google...

I've been muscling with a story point for the last week. I decided to toss out some ideas into google and see what comes back.

To my utter suprise and delight I found my answer...

Cold Forging! I know it doesn't make a lot of sense now but it will really take my story in a neat and unexpected direction.

Forging ahead!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Conversations with my son....

A new series for my faithful readers which includes my wife and the two hack bots scanning my blog for emails.

Conversations with my son...

Back to School
Son: Where is Mommy?
Me: She is at school .(Regsitration but I didn't feel the need to make the distinction.)
Son: (Incredulous) School?
Me: Yes, she is going back to school.
Son: Why? (You learn to love this word as a parent.)
Me: It's like your Mario Galaxy game. Each level gets harder. As you gain more levels in school you get payed more (in theory).
Son: Can you pause it?
Me: Yes, Mommy paused it for 8 years.

The Great Avocado Debate
Mommy: I don't like them.
Son: Why? (Awesome.)
Mommy: I don't like the texture.
Son: Take the texture out (duh).

Son: Daddy, are you old?
Me: ....

Stay tuned!


Friday, January 23, 2009

Testing John Augusts Scrippets... Slightly modified for Blogger and my theme.

In the final scene, Mia and Josh both admit they don’t really understand what happened. That's important.


I don’t know if the world got invaded, or if this is something we created ourselves...


It’s nano-technology from the future.




I have no idea.

Friday, January 16, 2009

IQ Crash is back...

On a whim I checked a blog that had been dormant for some time.... IQCrash. Sure enough he started back up again this year.

He is a crazy bastard and unfortunately some of the shit he spews actually sounds like myself sometimes.

Good to see your posting again. Writing an hour a day has been a huge boost to me. Here's to you keeping it up.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Side effects include...

I love me some football.

I watched the majority of the bowl games even though I think the bowl system is a sham by greedy corporations. Of course judging by the empty stadium at the GMAC bowl and the downfall of Detroit I suspect we might be a few bowls shorter by the end of this year. Raise your hand if you had Robocop as the first Sci-Fi movie to come true.

My Seahawks were a mess this year but I still managed to catch at least one game on Sunday and I’ve watched most of the playoff games to date. Raise your hand if you thought home field advantage meant something.

During my viewership I've noticed a disturbing trend. Something wicked this way comes my friends. A dark cloud descends upon my grid iron gladiators. I’m not talking about Football in the great Northwest. I’m talking about commercials.

Not the sweet catchy tune of “Feeling kinda Sunday” that my son likes to hum as he colors or the short dude that wrecks the DJ table as he shows off his dance moves that makes me laugh every time.

I’m talking about the dick pills.

For some insane reason the marketing geniuses have figured out that the only males that watch football these days have one or both of the following problems.

I can’t pee regularly and when I do I can only squeeze out a few drops.


I can’t achieve an erection at just the right moment.

Every commercial break, without fail, in this years College and NFL games had a commercial advertising a pill that cured one of these disorders. Hell, sometimes they bookended the commercial break with both them in an bid to solve both my problems in just two minutes and two seconds. AWESOME.

First we have a group of gray haired men doing all sorts of neat shit. Golfing, taking a plane ride, taking a boat ride, cruising along in a convertible. The narrator is lamenting the fact that one or more of the gentlemen could not make the group pictures because he was trying to go pee. As his buddies are having the time of their empty bladder lives the “dude with a problem” is walking out of the bathroom regretting the six-pack he just chugged.

But help is on the way my good man. If by chance your problem is caused by an enlarged prostate there is a pill that can help. The even better news is the side effects are so fucking severe that you will be in the bathroom vomiting or shitting out of your ear so peeing regularly will be an afterthought.

Lets move on to my personal favorite. E.D. Yes, it’s so hush, hush that is has a two letter designation. Erectile Dysfunction. These little blue pieces of heaven come in three flavors. 12 hour, 24 hour and the mind blowing 36 hour jackhammer. They do this so that you can absolutely be certain that whatever window of opportunity comes your way to nail the lady friend, your ready to rock.

My question is, can you turn it off? Lets say I know the kid will be out of the house in the next 24 hours. I pop a pill and spend the rest of the day hunched over at my desk because I don’t want to be walking around the house knocking shit off the shelves with my chemically induced ram rod. He leaves, the wife and I get frisky for about… 3-20 minutes depending on what’s on the TV. Now what? I’ve got 1-23 hours left of Barry Bonds in my pants. Do we lance it to let the blood out?

The side effects seem pretty reasonable. Don’t use it in case of a weak heart because you can’t afford too divert any blood flow. If the erection lasts longer than 36 hours take pictures and head to the Bunny Ranch in Nevada.

Now I know that showing these commercials during The View or Regis isn’t hitting the target demographic but come on folks. Once a game is fine. Showing them every commercial break is ridiculous.

Anyway that’s my rant. I will post on my writing which is coming together soon.

Have a great new year.

Also if you suffer from any of the above issues I apologize and suggest you catch a game or two.