Jul 26, 2011

buscycling: fail!

So, I've been in deep pursuit to discover an alternative method to get to work, and just an all around different way to travel through York.  The reason: riding in a car is good for only one thing - getting acquainted with new music.  But, there are other times where one can do that.  So that removes the only good reason to ride a car.  So that brings us to this: after two years of driving in and out of work, I've slowly started to formulate what apears to be a somatic, skin-coated inner tube, extending around my midsection, which counteracts all the weight lifting I did at Temple.  Unacceptable.  So, I devoted the entire month of June to experimenting with public transportation and bike riding, which fused into the hybrid of buscycling!  I would  bicycle from my house, traveling 5 miles to the nearest bus station, jump on the bus, which relocated me to my next destination, get back off the bus and pedal 10 more miles to my next bus station, where I would catch another bus that would release me, where I would then pedal 2 more miles to my final destination.

When this plan was first developed, it sounded fun, like an exciting adventure, and a great way to get back in shape!  Which it was!  But it lost its novelty after the initial week.  It required a 5 AM wake up call, a 6 AM house departure, just to make sure that i would get to the bus stop (which i would always get there early, fearing the agony of missing the bus).  Then, after all the traveling, it wouldn't be until 8:30 AM that I'd finally arrive!  Not the most efficient way of getting around, expanding a 30 minute commute into 2 and a half hour race against the clock (although it was nice to be reminded what a heart beat feels like).  But regarldess of the inefficient traveling, I was devoted to the month duration of the experiment, even if it was clearly evident that it was a failed experiment after the first week.  And then, the ride home was even worst.  Conclusion: buscycling is a failure.

So buscycling isn't York county's solution to traveling.  But, another solution wasn't far off, as hours of committed research revealed electric bikes.  This seemed to be the solution.  One charged battery on an e-bike can travel as far as 20 miles, and can boost up to 25 mph.  OHM seems to make the sweetest e-bikes, however, I'm in no position to drop $3500 on an e-bike, especially considering that I couldn't even trade my car in for one of these e-bikes.  But there appears to be alternative brands in the e-bike industry:

eZee Spring - This pedal-assist badboy can travel as far as 20 miles on a full charge, with the assistance of you breaking a sweat.  But, it's a heffer, weighing 65 pounds, slowing your down to only 20 mph, keeping your flowing hair at a minimum.  But the price is about half of the OHM's, at $1800.  For an additional $200, you can upgrade your battery, which will allow you to hit 30 traveling miles with your pedal assisting.

eZee Forza - This eZee is very similiar to the Spring, but it can scoot a bit quicker at 22 mph, as it will be lighter.  The traveling is the same, pedal-assist, which can get you 20+ miles, or if you throw down an extra $200, then you can get the stronger battery, which will last for an additional 10+ miles.  I tad higher as far as cost: $1950.  But, much more visually prominent, grabbing the attention of nerdy girls from every library and craft store.  

BionX electric bike conversion kit - Ok, now this is more for the handy being.  The conversion kit is excellent if you already like your wheels.  Basically, this is just an attachable battery pack for your bike, with a self-assemble motor.  Specs only run average, hitting 20 MPH, and traveling 20+ miles, unless you opt for the upgrade.  But the price is steep, $1690 for the 350L, or to upgrade, another $200.  At that price, you might at well keep your bike a normal bike, and just buy an eZee, since it comes with a bike, a motor, and a warranty.

So, what it appears is that the enchanted e-bike utopia won't be arriving anytime soon, unless these prices can get reduced, or my stock holdings finally decided to explode, instead of flat lining like they've been for the past 9 weeks.  

Until then, i'm stuck in the car.  

Jul 22, 2011

Jul 16, 2011

AwfulOhio.com !!!

Ok, just launched AwfulOhio.com.  It's pretty bland right now.  Not much going on.  Almost launched it without mentioning anything about the author.  D'oh!  Definitely some more details need to be added, but for the moment, it's doing a fine job.  For a limited time, i can offer copies for only $10!  Free shipping too!  But that is only for the first 10 who reserve copies, because unfortunately, copies aren't available just yet, so the world needs to calm down.

But in the mean time, i think this webpage will add some credibility to the kickstarter project, as well as the entire project altogether.  I'm going to shoot for $4000.  I think it is achievable.  I've got some rewards lined up that should entice the masses to support the project.

In the mean time, let's see what AwfulOhio.com will evolve into.

Jul 15, 2011

Book Cover

Ok, so this is going to be the book cover to Awful, Ohio (top).  I didn't think Createspace would be able to put together a cover this well.  When I started explaining to them the depth and detail of the cover, they starting laughing, further explaining that the publishing package that i chose only included the "unique book cover" design, which apparently meant cut and paste from cropped photos.  So, panick-stricken, I took a stab at some graphic design ideas of my own, and here's what i came up with for a cover (bottom):

 The top is the better of the two, so luckily they were able to make a pleasing cover.  share what you think of either cover!

Jul 13, 2011

"psh... wut do i nead an editter four? i studyd enlish at tempel, hell i no howe to editt!"

So, i'll be frank, this book was a pain in the ass.  The plot synopsis started in college, almost 3 years ago, and then, with some devoted dedication, I've recently been able to defecate the final copy to Createspace so that they can turn it into a book.  It shouldn't have nearly taken this long, but so many things were competing for my attention; the girlfriend wanting to become my wife, buying a house, and worstly, work.  But even without all of those, the time put into the book was still building up.  Nightly and daily, the thoughts of imperfect tense and sound structure volleyed through my synapses, nervous of amateur and sobering spelling errors or comma-splices.  More time was spent rereading previously written paragraphs and chapters, but to make sure that the sound quality was perfect.  Each word must sing! conjoining with the sound quality of the other words!  nothing else is acceptable!  The final product is a beautiful sounding composition, spread through 260 pages.

"Oh shit, i forgot about the plot!  Does this thing even make sense!?"

Then, days and weeks would be spent rereading everything over again, just to make sure the characters are consistent, that their motives are reoccuring and understood.  The worst thing to do is publish something that doesn't make sense, whose characters are whimsically and haphazardly changing motives without reason!  And when it doesn't make sense, when a character's motive that affected the enter book is suddenly spoken as a completely different motive in the final, climaxing chapter, then the only thing that can help the book is the ER.  Hours and days of surgery were required to reattach beginning motives with finishing sequences.  It took alot of long nights and early mornings, and alot of made up psychological impairments to justify some of the motives, but the book atleast pretends to be coherent.

"maybe i should've used only 1 lead character, instead of 8."

To use one character would have made the train-of-thought easier during the creation, but with 8 different characters, it becomes tedious, keeping everyone in order.  Too easy was it to forgot who was doing what, who had said what, who was trying to accomplish what.  it was like trying to babysit a bunch of rowdy, attention-shortened kids, who kept running around, wanting to conquer the world.  But i had to put my fist down and lay down the law, and assign order and duties to each character.  I couldn't made it easier on myself, but the final outcome justifies the work.

But, regardless of all the gripes and exhaustion, the book is completed, and i'm excited for friends and family to read my magnus opus, and to see what fruits, if any, will occur through the labor.

Jul 12, 2011

kickstarter approved!

well, a great thing that was introduced to me by Matt Sanger, was a great website called kickstarter.com.  Basically, it offers an opportunity for great ideas to gather some cash to get those great ideas started.  This proved to be an ideal opportunity, because the downside with independent publishing is that the marketing and advertising and promoting is up to the author.  But damn, advertising in the New York times online would cost $2000?  Welp, just gotta gather some revenue.

I'll post when the project video is complete.

Book launch is looking towards the end of august/beginning of September.