Category Archives: Mad Ramblings

March 6th 2009

Was the last time I bought a dead tree book1.  Its not because I don’t like the dead tree format, it is more because I like the ease of acquiring new books, ease of storage, ease of reading as I consume a lot of books quickly.  When I was traveling extensively it really sucked to be a heavy reader, as you can only bring so many books when you are headed out for 6 ~ 8 weeks to a non english speaking country.  Dead tree is heavy and takes up a lot of space unfortunately, also since 9/11 airlines have these crazy bag fees and kill you with them if your bag is one kilogram overweight.

Then came the Kindle 1 and I was meh… no real selection in Science Fiction.   Along came the Kindle II and I got one a lot more books, but it was not without its problems.  I had a mysterious battery drain issue when out of the country (yes I had the wireless turned off) where the battery life would diminish after I had finished reading books it got worse after every book, it got so bad at one point I had to recharge the thing every other day.  Then came the iPad.

The iPad brought me not just the Amazon store2, but the Nook store, and Apple’s hot mess3 that is iBooks.  It also allowed me to go to my favorite purveyor of books who are putting out ebooks in the Baen’s eBook website and I was finally able to put it in a format I could read on something other than my computer.  Life was good for a voracious reader.

Yes life was good for the consumer but it killed competition which is bad for the consumer.

Borders: Gone.

The mall book store: Gone.

Barns and Noble: just about gone nearest one is half an hour away.

Books-a-million: Meh never liked it as the section for Science Fiction sucked.

I really never ordered a dead tree book off of Amazon except for a couple out of print really hard to find books.  But I usually always went into Borders and the mall book stores when I was in the mall, and frequently bought books especially hard backs from authors I loved and could not wait for paperback at the local book stores.

Where am I going with this ramble???

Well upon hearing that some new books were out from authors I have read in the past I went to go order them, but I was appalled at the prices I am seeing on Amazon.  I will not pay 12 dollars for an eBook of something that I would have typically waited till it was in paperback and pay 8 dollars or less.  I am just not going to do it.  Worse is that the prices just don’t come down for months or even years for some authors.  I have purchased Baen4 eARC books for 15 dollars before, but they were mostly the “Oh John Ringo no” series, Michael Z Williamson books, and a few David Webber books.

Now I am spending a lot of time buying the $3.99 and under selections in the science fiction section of Amazon .  I have found a lot of good to great authors that have self published, most of the misses have been in the less than 2 dollar range but there have been some real gems there also.  But the big names (Jim Butcher. Patricia Briggs, Terry Prachett, etc) who bring their ebooks to the market at above 10 dollars will just be placed on the wish list and maybe purchased in a few years when the price is reasonable, or maybe I forget about the story and why I liked it so much and don’t bother buying it at all, which is what I have done with Jim Butcher books.

I don’t mind paying 6 ~ 8 dollars for a known quantity but that is my maximum, except for Sci-Fi from L.E. Modesitt.

There is just is not the expense behind the eBooks that there was behind the dead tree format,  Yes amazon takes their cut but so did Borders.  But eBooks  do not have to be printed, shipped, stored, or stocked5

It would be interesting to hear from some authors on eBook pricing, but that is my take.



  1. besides special books and first editions of something I really really like or something I read in the 80s that is out of print and I really want to read it again
  2. which is verging on if not already a monopoly
  3. yes it is a mess, finding a book to read is a horrible and slow experience and unless you know an authors name you are really shit out of luck.  A three year old could make a better interface to buy book than Apple did with iBooks.  One of their rare fail moments.
  4. Baen has always been special for me as a Science Fiction fan, as almost everything coming out of Baen is a home run or damn close.
  5. other than putting it up on a website and I am sure that is mostly automated by now

Life is going on…

Have not had much to say here recently.

Been more than a bit busy with work and motorcycle stuff.

Congress, Cut it out.  Until you start enforcing existing gun laws to even find out if they work you can blow me…

Marland Legislature:

Thanks for the new gun laws. They are so ineffective you can still cash and carry things like the SCAR 17 with just a NICS check.  We still get to own and get new 30 round magazines.

Thanks for the New Taxes, including the one on RAIN.  I am sure that MD will find a way to tax air shortly.

Not getting the Speed Cameras law repealed fixed, because “free money” coming out of our wallets.

Thanks for ignoring the thousands of people that bothered to come to Annapolis and turn the lights on only to watch the cockroaches scurry under their desks and play Chess…

Oh yea, 2014 is next year. A whole bunch of us can now vote in your primaries, you know those primaries that you only won by 100 votes or so.  Yea we were watching you in the committee meetings, and more so on the House and Senate floor.  More importantly we watched you vote to take our civil and god given rights away all the while you thought it was a joke…  Not to mention opening your mouthes to show us just how stupid 90% of you really are.  Almost forgot to mention how we watched you vote for other members who were not in their seats when the votes happened

Stay classy MD Dums…

Boys trip to the mountain

Well we made another pilgrimage to the dirt bike mecca of the east coast.  It all started off so well.  Friday was nice and we initiated our newest riding buddy to the joys of Hatfield & McCoy.  He only crashed it twice on friday.

Friday night was when it all started going wrong.  Our other buddy who has a history at Hatfield started feeling not so good around dinner time.  By the time we got to the cabin he was doing the technicolor yawn after just clearing the truck door.  He was driving the buick all night, at some point we were worried that we were going to have to take him to the Logan hospital (again).  Somewhere around two am he stopped walking ralph and just moaned a bunch.

Next day it was nice and sunny.  Our buddy was in bed and looking like death.  We did what any good riding buddies would do.  We left him in the cabin and went riding.  It was a good day of riding, the newb only crashed it twice.  I decided that the bush looked softer than the side by side that was taking up the whole trail.  The quadders all asked if I was ok as they drove by splattering me with mud.  All in all it was a nice day to ride.

Sunday was also a great day on the mountain.  Our sick buddy had finally made it out of the chair onto the porch.  We once again did what good buddies would do and went riding without him. The newb did well with only one crash and two or three drops while standing still.  I think he was worn out by this point since we did make him do a single track.  We finished off the day watching the first tie in the NFL since 2008.  It was a good weekend except for our poor sick buddy with the stomach virus.

Monday dawned and we started packing up.  As we were driving down off the mountain things started to go bad for me.  Seems my buddy gave me his stomach virus.  I think we made it 60 miles before I was calling for a pull over and hurl…  I think he had the tuck almost stopped when I had the back door open and got busy painting the pavement with last nights dinner…

There is nothing more miserable than being stuck in a truck for 7 hours and wanting to hurl every hour and a half…


If they only got a degree in something useful

Seen on the interwebs and really liked… Wish I could give credit where it is due…

I have a couple of liberal friends, no really, stop laughing…

Getting a degree in interpretative dance, art history, or women’s study is not going to get you anywhere in today’s economy. But then you can always not wash your hair for months and roll around in patchouli oil, and join the 99%. All while carrying $120,000 in debt from Columbia University. Your life is going to be spent sucking on the government teat.

Good luck with that as a long term solution as we will very shortly be running out of other peoples money. We are already at or over 40 cents per dollar of federal spending being borrowed from the Chinese…

So remember to smile nicely when I ask for fries with my Big Mac.

Time for something new.

When I started this blog back in 2002 it was just personal ramblings. It quickly morphed into a gun blog with with a bunch of gun politics. It was contentious times with the sunset of the AWB coming up in 2004 so I was writing my thoughts on the expiration of the ban and all of the Hoplophobes doing their damnedest to extend that ban.

Not to mention that I was still bitter about not being able to get standard capacity mags for my HundK (Because you suck, And we hate you) USP in .45acp (it was released in .45 just months after the ban was enacted and I was stuck with neutered 10 round mags). And because they hated us so much it took me until 2006 to find a standard capacity magazine for the USP. I still love that gun since it is like having it hard wired into my optic nerve, what I see I can hit dead center every time.

It stayed a gun/politics blog up until I ran out of steam in 2010 or so, and lost all motivation to write anything. It stayed up and I puttered around with a post every blue moon or so, basically a waste of a good dream host account…

So here it is 2012 and ten year later, and I actually feel like writing again. I have been at it for a week now and am trying to get out a post at least 6 days a week. Give me a month and check back with me on that… But this time I will be branching out a bit further than guns and politics, though those two topics will still be heavily influential in my postings.

I will also be posting a lot about Motorcycles and my upcoming big trip (Wait for it). And if the worst president in history gets reelected it will also feature posts about going Galt…

So, see you tomorrow. Or sooner if you are lucky, or not lucky depending on your bent…