July 31, 2007



My friends, I just received the email I have been waiting for these past three weeks before I felt I could show my face and update this page with certainty.

The hardcover books are finally -- FINALLY -- dropping into the print queue. They should begin shipping in three to four days.

A single problem with the final proof took me three hours to fix and took the printer almost three weeks to get back to this point. As I have mentioned many times, all of this frustration -- in fact, real despair -- on my part has been due to the fact that these type of things used to be nearly instantaneous back when I did this the first time. I never, in a million years, would have "pre-sold" anything had I not had that old example to go by.

Anyway, the book itself is finalized and the orders are in the print queue, as I said. I would expect to see the first of them out the door early next week.

In other news, I have finished an online bidding process for a company that can deliver the basic Ejectia elements. At first light on this project one of our people said that this would take a year to do, and I laughed. I'm not laughing now! It won't take anything like that, but as you can probably guess by now, being a devout optimist and believer in big dreams can have a downside when it comes to delivery schedules. What I really need is a PR manager, preferably someone like Montgomery Scott, who takes his best estimate of how long something will take and multiplies it by four. That way, I can sit in the Captain's chair and scream "Scotty, I need those hardcovers now!" and he can scream back, "I canna change the laws a physics!" and then I can blame everything on him and not on my own incompetence.

So progress on the City of Virtue is of the boring, uneventful, slow, practical, real kind. I'm sorry to say.

Finally, there has been some speculation -- and I have received a few phone calls -- concerning my reaction to the recent explosion up at the Mojave. The fact of the matter is I did not know any of the people involved -- at least, not personally anyway, though in point of fact I certainly feel like I knew them since I know the type so well. The explosion occured at Scaled Composites, and almost everyone I know up there works at Xcor.

My personal reaction to this event is easy to misunderstand, for like everyone else with a shred of humanity, I grieve for the loss of friends and family members and for the irreparable hole they have left behind them. But at the same time, I am comforted and encouraged by two points that I think bear mentioning in this or any other case where people die doing the one thing they love more than anything else in the world.

First, these people gave their lives advancing the cause of human knowledge and exploration, and in that regard they have lived and left us better than we would have been without them. That is much, but there is more.

None of us gets out of here alive. To be able to say you lived your life following your dream is to be able to say you lived your life the way it was meant to be lived. You lived your life; it did not live you. Each of us, as mortal men and women, are dealt a hand by fate and we play that hand by the choices we make in our lives. These three, and the others wounded, and all of the armies that have gone before them and who will come after who have given and who will give their all to push back the boundaries of the human adventure, are to be admired and more than that: they are to be envied.

What lucky people. What a happy band.

Posted by Proteus at 11:57 AM | Comments (766)

July 3, 2007

Happy 4th of July!






Hi everyone!

First, some good news...

I believe all of the softcovers have shipped and should be in just about everyone's hands by now. The 2nd hardcover proof seems to have gotten out the last of the bugs and the new updated files have been uploaded. That should put the hardcover books into the print queue on Thursday. I will let you know when they have shipped, which I expect---.

See, there I go again. The finished files are uploaded. That's a fact. That's the limit of what I actually know right now. I will update as soon as I get confirmation from the printer.

And, again, please excuse the unconscionable delay. Your frustration is exceeded only by my own.

As you can see from the graphics, Ejectia continues its slow construction. In the comments for the last entry, someone mentioned perhaps getting a few images large enough for desktop wallpaper. Due to this unbelievable demand the images above are thumbnails for some 1024 and 1600 pixel-wide images.

Right now we are concentrating on the Library, where the "expertise articles" will live. I've hired some pros to put a little polish on the way we actually present those files.

Now, good news and bad news: Good news! The proposals and articles we have received are terrific. Bad news! WE NEED MORE OF THEM!

Now I am willing to bet my entire vast internet fortune on the fact that you are reading this thinking, on one hand, that maybe you do know a little something about making fly-fishing lures or a killer Key Lime Pie, or you know how to shop for an automobile because you used to be a dealer, or something like that... and then that evil little voice whispers yeah, well who gives a damn about that?

WE give a damn, that's who! Let me tell you some of the topics we have already approved and look forward to in great anticipation: Dealing with Depression, Stone Soup recipes, Properties of Wool and other Natural Fibers, Life under Communism, Role-PLaying games, Roadside Assistance, Nuclear Power, Personal Defense, Weather Forecasting, Sourdough Cooking, Mine Safety, Beer Brewing, Financial Planning, and... um... that thing you know how to do.

See? Now's your chance to experience all of the excitement, glamor and endless gnawing pressure of being an internet author! Send a two paragraph proposal stating what you know and who you are to Library@ejectia.com.

As the sewers and electrical cables for Ejectia are unromantically being installed, I believe I will have to fill the void with a few non-Ejectia essays, starting, I think, with Michael Moore and Universal Healthcare. Oh, and there's always that Global Warming thing. So no shortage of work for the wicked.

Finally, since it's the Glorious Fourth, here's a link to my all-time favorite piece of work, written on July 4th, 2003. That's FOUR years ago...

TRINITY (part 1)
TRINITY (part 2)

Don't blow off any body parts you don't have spares for!

Posted by Proteus at 10:40 PM | Comments (486)