2015 Stats are in

It’s probably true that I’m the only person who cares about this, but I’m a fan of that thing called disclosure, and if I can provide info that might help others learn what to and what not to do, then I’m going to share it. So, if you’re into blogging, publicity, numbers, or some combination of the three, then you might appreciate this end of the year report on the activities of Drinking Cafe Latte at 1pm in 2015:

https://zippywings.wordpress.com/2015/annual-report/

This is way better than my 2014 results. I think I had a total of 76 visits at the end of last year, even though I had established the blog that March. So, this was a good blogging year. I’m sure I have a certain post about hoverboards to thank mostly for that.

P.S. I’ve recently updated my header tabs with a “Series Books” selection. I think I’ll also set up a reports page in the About section for future reference. Anyway, the more you know…

P.P.S. I don’t think the report takes this post into account. So, it’s relevant to everything I posted in 2015 before this post. Maybe. I don’t know how this works. I don’t remember ever getting a report this fancy in 2014. But I like it. I’m a fan of numbers, even if I am a writer who got his degree in English and never wants to take another math class again.

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Cannonball City is Coming!

December 23, 2015:

Coming Christmas Day!

cannonball city cover art version 1p
Cover Image for “Cannonball City: AMDF, Year One”

The massive epic adventure of a tennis star who becomes a superhero and faces his darkest fears amid the unusual landscapes of Los Angeles and the Caribbean will be available for download on Christmas morning. Check its official page for details.

Note: The presale price is temporary. It will be marked free for download on the day of release. Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo may not change the price until after the holidays, but Smashwords will have it available for free.

The Pros and Cons of Using a Lightsaber

December 18, 2015

So, now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been officially released, and now that I have spent my entire day editing my gargantuan epic novel (part one!) for the e-book format—which means I haven’t seen the movie yet—it’s time to unleash my final blog dedicated to Star Wars culture:

Yes, it’s a Pros/Cons list!

We all know what a lightsaber is, right? It’s that flashlight-looking handheld device that produces a colorful stick of death when pressed and makes a whoosh sound when swung. You’ve seen it. It’s a giant ice pop that doesn’t melt in your mouth—it melts your mouth! Little boys between the ages of 6 and 79 want one. It’ll probably be the number one requested Christmas gift of the year.

But should you get one for that man in your life? If you are a man, should you get one for yourself?

Here are the pros and cons of using a lightsaber.

Pros:

  • It looks cool when you wield it.
  • It makes that really awesome whoosh sound pretty much always, which girls love.
  • You can use it to power dead electronics in a pinch.
  • Your friends will envy you for having it.
  • Your enemies will be afraid of you when they see it.
  • Your cat will chase it when you fling it around for a cheap laugh.
  • You can use it to create pathways anywhere you want.
  • Lightsabers make mock sword-fighting super flashy.
  • Knowing how to use one makes getting into a Star Wars movie easier.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t look as cool if you cut your arm off.
  • It’s not a popsicle, so it can’t be eaten.
  • It’s not a flashlight, either, and can make things awkward when turned on in tight quarters during a power outage.
  • Your mom will ground you if she catches you using it.
  • Once grounded, your dad will confiscate it and use it for himself.
  • Your cat might blow up if she catches it.
  • Using it in most public places might get you arrested, especially if you keep it concealed.
  • If you aren’t that good at sword-fighting, then a lightsaber will really make that clear.
  • Most of the lightsabers in the Star Wars movies are effects-driven and fake, so bringing in your real one could cause some issues.

So, that concludes Star Wars week at Drinking Café Latte at 1pm.

Stay tuned for news about my upcoming e-book surprise. (My opening statement gives a clue about what’s coming soon.)

 

How to Pet a Wookie

December 17, 2015

Wookie: An eight-foot-tall hairy man-beast that walks, grunts, and navigates spaceships like a normal human being. Can often be seen traveling with rogues. Best known for being a part of the Star Wars universe.

So, you’ve got your eyes on a wookie that you want to pet? I’ll give you some good tips on how to do this, but I must also encourage you to question whether this is a good idea.

Step 1: Find your wookie. It’s difficult to pet a wookie if you can’t find it.

Step 2: Take caution when approaching a wookie. Wookies are temperamental creatures that can tear off your limbs if you disrespect them.

Step 3: Ask the wookie if you can pet him/her/it. They are sentient creatures; they will let you know if you ask.

Step 3a: Wookies don’t actually speak, they grunt. Listen closely to make sure you’re clear on their answer.

Step 4: If the wookie says yes, then go ahead and pet him/her/it. If the answer says no, then refrain from petting this wookie and find yourself another wookie.

Warning: Remember, petting a wookie when he/she/it says no is very dangerous. Wookies can rip arms, legs, and other body parts off your body without much trouble. They are as powerful as bears. It is very difficult to pet anything, much less a wookie, if you’re missing your hands. Don’t let a wookie rip off your hands. Be respectful of his/her/its wishes. If the wookie says no, don’t pet its furry hide.

Notes: Because wookies don’t speak, they grunt, it’s helpful to know the difference between their yesses and nos.

Yes: A “yes” in the wookie language is any grunt that lasts for 2 exact seconds.

No: A “no” in the wookie language is any grunt that lasts for 1.98 seconds.

Keep this in mind before you ask the wookie if you can pet him/her/it. It might not only allow you to fulfill your dream of petting a wookie, but it could also save your life.

Step 5: In the event that you do get to pet a wookie, please go see your licensed therapist for a checkup. Wookies are imaginary creatures that exist only in movies and costume shops.

 

How to Train Your Droid

December 16, 2015

So, in honor of the world getting a new Star Wars movie in a few days (and hopefully it’ll be a good one), I wanted to discuss the idea of training our droids to do our bidding.

And to be clear, I’m not talking about this type of droid:

cellphone clipart (small droid)

No, as much as that would be cool (and maybe relevant? I don’t know), that is neither the focus of this blog, nor the focus of my wheelhouse. I’m sure there are people out there who can train their phone droids to do what they want, like teaching them to call people and to connect to the Internet and crazy things like that. If that’s what you’re looking for, check YouTube. There’s probably a video about it. No, I wanted to talk about this kind of droid:

droid joke 2

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering, “How in the world could I get that thing to do my bidding?” Well, it’s simpler than you might think. It all comes down to psychology. You have to tell your droid what you want. Until you acknowledge the fact that droids can’t read minds, you won’t actually pass this step. You must use the straightforward tenants of psychology to get your droid doing the things you want. But more importantly, it comes down to patience.

Droids are basically machines. Machines can be told what to do. Think of them like parrots: You tell them the same thing over and over and over again, and eventually they automate, freely speaking whatever offensive thing you told them to say, and no one can stop them because they’ve been “programmed” to say that awful thing.

That’s how droids learn, too. Get them into a small room, lower all the lights, throw a blanket over them if you have to. Then lock-on to their eyes. Smile; droids learn faster when you smile. Then slowly and calmly tell them what you want them to do. You may find resistance at first. But keep telling them what you want from them. Eventually they’ll do what you ask just to shut you up.

You train them basically the same way you train your marital partner. Sooner or later, you’ll program that new action into their susceptibly robotic little minds and they’ll do it without you having to ask them in the future.

So, there you go.

 

How to Build a Droid

December 15, 2015

So, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming to theaters this week, I think it’s about time we spend a week talking about it. And what better way to kick it off than to write a fake review, which I did last night and you should totally read it if you want to laugh, cringe, cry, or pull your hair out by the roots because it’s that fun. But I digress. Today I want to talk about droids.

No, not the cellphone that plays games and hacks your Facebook while you’re asleep. The original droids, the ones found in the Star Wars universe. You know, “These are not the droids you are looking for,” yet, they totally are the ones you’re looking for (unless you’re looking for the dang cellphone droid, in which case, these are not the droids you are looking for).

In honor of good people in Hollywood deciding it’s time to bring back Han Solo and friends, I want to talk about building a droid. You all remember how Anakin Skywalker built C3PO in Episode I and abandoned him, right? Well, we are going to do the same!

First, you need to find the right materials. If you get some screws, a screwdriver, a bunch of metal pipes, some wires, a couple of flashlights, batteries, sheet metal, paper, chewing gum, uranium, some bobby pins, a second screwdriver, a bottle of scotch, magnets, an old calculator, and something that looks like a USB jack, even if it’s actually a gem clip, then you should have most of everything you need.

Second, you want to put it all together. How? Well, first you bend the sheet metal into a trapezoidal shape, and then bend it again. Then you put your flashlights in the middle—or wherever you left a hole big enough to hold them. Then you run some wires down the back of the flashlight through however many metal pipes you found. Then you want to join the pipes and sheet metal together with some magnets and secure them with the chewing gum.

Now’s a good time to down a fifth of scotch.

Next you fix the “USB jack” to the sheet metal with your second screwdriver. Or you can use your first. Doesn’t matter. Then you want to open the back of the calculator and store its guts in the center of the sheet metal and secure it with the bobby pin. Stick a battery in it, throw out any uranium you didn’t use, and viola! You have your droid:

droid joke 2

Tomorrow we’ll talk about getting it to work. You’ll probably need more scotch for that.

Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

December 14, 2015

Disclaimer: I am posting this review four days before the movie comes out. So, I have not seen it. This is fake. It’s for the purpose of parody. Please do not take this review seriously. If you’re looking for a real review, check back in four days…on someone else’s blog. This one will likely spoil moments that aren’t actually in the movie. If this offends you, then you’re probably camping out in line as we speak, reading this through your Stormtrooper helmet as you eat marshmallows in your tent.

 Movie: Star Wars 7

Release Date: Friday

Runtime: I don’t know

Review: Okay, so there’s a lot of hype going into George Lucas’s abandoned child, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and let me tell you, as a fanboy, it is so worth it. It’s got stars, and it’s got wars, and it’s got lots of fighting in space, and it’s just awesome. J.J. Abrams really got this one right. It’s got Spock fighting Captain Kirk, and Yoda drinking a soda even though he’s a ghost (spoiler alert!), and Chewbacca, let’s just say, is so hairy. It’s amazing how much detail they put into these characters.

I know what you’re thinking. What about the prequels? No, they aren’t awesome. Episode III is kinda okay. But it doesn’t have enough Jar Jar. You really can’t have too much Jar Jar. Everyone who thinks Jar Jar ruins the movie ruins movies. If I can’t have my Jar Jar, then I don’t want my Star Wars.

The Force Awakens does not have Jar Jar, and it’s better for it. What it has instead is a talking Monkey named Hans. Spoiler Alert! The monkey is played by none other than Harrison Ford. They call him Hans YOLO! and he has a sweet ride. It goes so fast. In one scene, he beats Vin Diesel and the Rock to the finish line. It’s amazing. Really, you should see this movie.

Now, I can’t talk about this movie without discussing everyone’s acting abilities, but I must say, I see an Oscar in R2D2’s future. He’s really got the whole droid thing down. Come on, Academy. Stop ignoring trash cans on roller skates! It’s bad enough you’ve ignored Jim Carrey for The Truman Show and Man on the Moon. Don’t snub the R2!

So, what’s my final verdict? Star Wars: The Force Awakens is awesome! How do I know? Because I’ve seen the trailers for it, twice! Five stars (and three wars)!

The new Star Wars opens this Friday. But you already knew that because you’re yelling at me for writing this crap.

B+