Towse: views from the hill

March 30, 2006

The Spice Must Flow, a foodie blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 11:12 pm

While roaming through the blogwhirl’d, I stumbled across a link on Jennifer Jackson‘s Live Journal-based agent blog to her foodie blog, The Spice Must Flow.

D-E-L-I-S-H food stuffs abound and there are THREE YEARS! of back entries to wander through.

Anna Louise Genoese at Tor is looking for …

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 9:36 pm

Anna Louise Genoese, Tor, has a LiveJournal post today detailing specific slots she needs to fill on her paranormal list and her romantic suspense list.

Is that the sort of thing you write? Check it out.

ALG sez, “(Our typical advance for a first time writer in this genre is $4000-$7000.)”

[from ALG’s Live Journal blog anna louise’s Journal]

Lost and found photos

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 3:00 am

One of the just-discovered weirdnesses about the hosting problems back when and the rollover to a new host is that the photos for the month of February or so have gone missing from the blog’s home.

As I work to put them back in place, you may see some old photos come and go on the blog and if you subscribe to the feed, you’ll see old posts popping up out of the blue. The posts haven’t changed. The links to the photographs have been updated to point to the current location.

Aren’t computers fun!?!!?

Creepy Biological Facts, courtesy of Tess Gerritsen (and a link to her blog)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 2:18 am

Tess Gerritsen has a writing-focused blog which provides an interesting peek inside a writer’s life as she describes her publisher(s) hassling over the title of her next book, the power of the backlist, and bad reviews.

Would it relieve you to know that a best-selling author winds up doubting herself and hating her book before she finally ships it off to the publisher? Read Gerritsen on You think this writing gig is EASY?

After you’ve finished poking around through her blog, be sure to check out the Creepy Biological Facts she’s collected during her research. Yeeps!

March 29, 2006

Cupcake cravings

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 7:09 pm

For Nobody and all her kindred spirits: Today’s Chronicle food section’s cover article is all about Cupcakes!

The article mentions Chockylit’s Cupcake Bakeshop blog.



March 27, 2006

BMW Audio Books

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 8:04 am

BMW has commissioned four audio books/podcasts — downloadable stories in .MP3 format — that include, somewhere in the plot, a BMW.

The four stories are by Karin Slaughter (crime writer published in 23 languages), (Shamus winner) Don Winslow, James Flint, and Simon Kernick (shortlisted for a CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for best thriller 2005).


March 24, 2006

I’m never going to stop the rain by complaining*

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 3:01 pm


After a few days of clear blue skies and sunshine, the rain returns, or it will sometime later today.
Sunrise. 6:20 a.m.

Here in sunny California you’ll hear a lot of complaints about the rain interfering with plans. Lighten up. We need the water.

We have rain off and on (and snow at the higher elevations) from about October/November through March/April followed by five or six months of straight, uninterrupted sunshine. What’s to complain?

All those “gosh, I wish it weren’t raining” gripes? I always had my suspicions that our long drought was caused by the negative vibes from a massive mental “gosh I wish it weren’t raining” mindset.

*”Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” – Lyrics by Hal David. Music by Burt Bacharach Posted by Picasa

March 22, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 1:29 am

We stayed at a Marriott on the Argentinian side, near Iguaçu/Iguazú/Iguassu Falls. The Hotel Internacional. Ugly place, but the only hotel within the Parque Nacional.


The views from the room were lovely, though, and the paths that took you up to the Argentine side of the Falls were right outside the door.

Hotel Das Cataratas

The Hotel Das Cataratas on the Brazilian side was more attractive, in a pink Portuguese stucco sort of way that reminded me of our old home in Belém. The hotel is right there across the river, but you need to drive thirty-five miles and pass through Brazilian Customs before you can loop back and see the hotel up close and personal.

Truth telling, I would’ve much preferred just a hammock in the old hotel that the Marriott replaced.

old hotel

The old Cataratas hotel is still there, falling into disrepair, no longer used. It’s been declared a landmark and won’t be torn down, but hasn’t been used for decades. Now, it’s just sitting there waiting for someone with the time and the money and the government connections to do something with it.

The first aid and ambulance folks who wait for someone using the kms of paths out and around the Falls to need some medical aid are the only folks in the hotel buildings these days.

The old hotel has a dreamy past-days quality about it. I could happily nap through an afternoon rain in a hammock slung on the porch. You can start here and shuffle through some pictures I took. If I had the wherewithal, this is the sort of thing I’d spend the wherewithal on, saving old places with dreamy qualities.

But the title of this post is “Pillows,” not “Hammocks,” not “Ugly Hotels.”

Non-plush sort of traveller that I am, this was the first time I’d stayed at a Marriott since they started pouring money into their new bedding program a year or two back. The bed was indeed very cozy and comfortable, but I completely understood where the housekeeper complaints are coming from.

The heaviest part of the package was the duvet and comforter. Really, do they need to make the coverlet so heavy? Give me the extra padding between the bottom sheet and the mattress. Certainly keep the five or six pillows — I was in heaven with pillows — but you don’t need to wear out the housekeeping staff with the overly heavy and puffy coverlet on the bed.

Be kind to the backs and hands and arms of the people who care for the rooms. The guests who love the new plush sleeping experience probably would get the bulk of the experience if they just had the comfy bed, 400 count sheets, and, of course, those soft, soft pillows. Ditch the coverlet or make it lighter. The cover doesn’t need to be so heavy to be puffy, attractive and warm.

Be kind to the housekeeping staff.

Maybe I should go splurge and buy a handful of soft down pillows for my bed. A few hundred dollars would set me up with enough down pillows to make me cozy, happy. I just can’t see me spending that kind of money on something so self-indulgent, though.

March 19, 2006

[URL] Wikiquote

Filed under: URL — Towse @ 8:15 pm


Wikiquote, a free online compendium of quotations from notable people and creative works in every language, including sources (where known), translations of non-English quotes, and links to Wikipedia for further information! The English version of Wikiquote has 6,206 pages so far with many thousands of quotations and proverbs.

Quotes are also available sorted by films | literary works | occupations | proverbs | television shows | themes | electronic games | mnemonics.

e.g. films/TIME BANDITS

    Evil Genius: God is not interested in technology… He knows nothing of the potential of the micro-chip or the silicon revolution. He’s obsessed with making the grass grow and getting rainbows right… Look at what he spends his time on. 43 species of parrot! Nipples… for men!

    Robert: Slugs.

    Evil Genius: Slugs! HE created slugs! They can’t hear. They can’t speak. They can’t operate machinery. Are we not in the hands of a lunatic?


Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 2:31 am

Swopped over to GoDaddy for hosting Wednesday, after I got back.

Why? you ask. A “hosting account disabled notice” dated 2/28 arrived while we were gone. I came across the notice on March 15th — more than two weeks later — after we got back.

The notice said my hosting had been disabled for nonpayment, although I’d never received either a here’s-yer-bill or a gosh-your-credit-card-ain’t-working notice from my hosting service.

The 2/28 “yer account’s disabled” e-mail was followed two days later by billing notices, including an “overdue invoice notice” and a “service invoice” notice, both arriving 3/02 and both found while I was going through my e-mail after I got back.

I’d cut out of town Feb 15th for St. Louis. I was back for a day or so a week later, checked my mail and then high-tailed it out again until Mar 15th.

If you wanted to tell someone their account was overdue, would you tell them two days after you’d disabled their account that there was a problem with the account billing and payment? Would you disable their account and insist on a year’s worth of payment plus a “late” fee?

… Did I mention that I went through a similar waltz back last fall with another domain name? These same guys who’ve been hosting my clutch of sites — after much to and fro and my insistence that they’d never sent a bill — took my credit card payment for a year’s subscription for that domain hosting and oh-so-kindly waived the late penalty ’cause I was such a good customer.

These folk have my gen-you-wine credit card information connected with my name and they know what sites they’re hosting for me. It really would not have been hard to find my credit card information if they were having supposed problems billing me. My contact information hasn’t changed either, so they could’ve asked.

So I’m swapping the hosting over to GoDaddy which handles my domain registrations and where I should’ve moved the hosting last year some time.

GoDaddy … that’s Good eggs.

The hosting change disrupted my Blogger connection and then I had difficulties getting the old rig to FTP properly with the new host.

But now allswell.

Your regularly scheduled programming will continue after this break …

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