Tuesday, September 30, 2008

first look at the new look

The new images at the top represent scenes from the new book, The Messenger.

Monday, September 22, 2008

http://ping.fm/p/MIVXL - Outside a Mexican restaurant in Orange Co
http://ping.fm/p/dePj3 - Power plant #1, seen outside an LA vegan restaurant

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New forensic science class at CSULA

The California Forensic Science Institute is sponsoring a series of extended education courses at CSULA that are open to the public.  The first, "Basic Crime Scene Investigation," is a two-day course taught by Ruben A. Flores, a Supervising Criminalist at the LA County Sheriff's Dept lab.  He's also worked for the Huntington Beach PD and the LAPD.  

According to a course brochure sent to me by the CFSI, "...Students will learn the fundamentals of physical evidence identification, documentation, collection, and packaging.  Through class exercises and a fun homework assignment, students will get practical experience in the common methods of crime scene investigation...."

The course is scheduled for 11/15 and 11/22, 8:30 AM to 5 PM, and is limited to 25 students.  The course fee of $275 includes a booklet and other course materials.

Call the CFSI at 323-343-4900 for more information or to register for the class.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

About ten posts worth of random notes

Many thanks to Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy for letting me know about this gem.
My sister, Sandy Cvar, will be teaching "Introduction to Linocut" at the International Printing Museum on Saturday, September 13, 9:30-4:00. This will be an easy way to learn how to carve linoleum to make a print. You don't need to be an artist to have fun with this method of printmaking!

We loved our recent visit to the museum. Even if you don't want to try working with linocut, if you're in the South Bay area, stop by and visit them.
We just subscribed to HBO. Why? True Blood, which is based on Charlaine Harris's fabulous Sookie Stackhouse series. We are also looking forward to the next David Simon project.
Last few days have been hectic. Having finished proofreading The Messenger, I sent it back to my editor. Sandy has finished some graphics for the update of the Web site, and Madeira James is at work on the new look.

I made a trip to see my folks, was a party to -- won't bore you with the long story -- destroying the firmware on my dad's iPhone. (Yes, in their 80s, my parents are using iPhones and texting, using Maps, checking stock quotes, downloading apps for games and all sorts of other cool stuff. And yes, at that age, I hope I'm willing to take space shuttle trips or use whatever cool tech is available then.) So I took the phone into the Apple store in Costa Mesa, and with the kind and efficient help of Genius Bar genius Johnny, got it up and running again. So two trips out of town, but I got to see the parents a little more often that way, which is always a good thing.

One of these days I'm going to have to post something about the Skeptical Inquirer. Which may sound like a strange thing to say, since I've just written a supernatural thriller. But there you have it. I don't really believe there's a city in Southern California named Las Piernas either. Sorry if I just made anyone cry. But I also saved you gas money by preventing you from driving around looking for it.

Anyway, great article in the Nov/Dec 2007 issue (yes, I'm behind on almost everything) by Denis Hamel. It's about a quotation floating around the Internet and elsewhere, lauding astrology and falsely attributed to Einstein. You might say that you don't have to be Einstein to suspect that he probably didn't believe in astrology, but the hoax persists. Hamel's article not only shows that Einstein didn't author this "quote," but shows that even given proof that it's a hoax, some folks refuse to remove it from their sites. I'm not the first person to tell you not to believe everything you read online, right?

I'm going to do a little work for the Crime Lab Project and then get back to work on the new book. Follow me on Twitter if you want details from here.

Have a good one! And thanks, Vgan -- I'm also glad the world did not implode when they fired up the black hole machine today. Not that I was really worried.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Done with the galleys. Now on to the next item on The To Do List From Hell.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Nature's dust mop rides again

The contest is on.  

If you go to this site (aka http://ping.fm/p/AFvQH ),
you'll see one of my dogs, Britches, wearing an attractive yellow leaf.

Britches is one of nature's dust mops.  He goes outside, and a little bit of outside comes back in with him.  If you have a dog or a cat that provides a moving sampler of nature on four paws, link to a photo from the comments section.  If you need an easy way to this, consider opening a ping.fm account.  (As previously noted, I love ping.fm -- makes it easier for me to blog, keep up with Facebook and Twitter, etc.)

No prizes.  Just my complete sympathy.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Planting the last two of seven California native plants I bought at Las Pilitas -http://ping.fm/OaqqQ