POSTERRegular readers know how I feel about the “Tundra” comic strip, created by Alaska cartoonist Chad Carpenter. Not content with being syndicated all over the world, Carpenter recently branched out into filmmaking with “Moose: The Movie.”

At one of the screenings Carpenter handed out autographed calendars. I promptly re-gifted mine for the May 3 giveaway (whose write-up included my impressions of the film).

Now that “Moose: The Movie” is available for home viewing, I’m reinstating the weekly giveaways with a copy of the DVD.

Is it great cinema? Of course not. But it’s good, goofy fun and very Carpenterian; witness the wildlife protection poster glimpsed in the Gangrene Gulch ranger station. Anyone who’s visited (or wants to visit) the Last Frontier will fall in love with the cinematography.

Don’t just take my word for it, though. A review from The Alaska Dispatch News calls it “bright, fast-paced, well-produced, utterly entertaining and very amusing,” among other things.


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thThe 2015 Financial Blogger Conference starts today in Charlotte, NC, and once again I’m among my people.

Not rich people necessarily, but people who are nerdy enough about money and blogging not to be bored by conversations about compound interest and Google algorithms.

Is it any wonder that some relationships — and at least one marriage — have resulted from this annual money geeks meetup?

Last year I wondered how these romances began. Was it finding someone with similar financial values? Noticing that this person’s eyelids didn’t droop when you mentioned retirement planning?

Or maybe it was just the two free drink tickets that come with the receptions.


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thA trending Twitter hashtag #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter really got my attention today. You can imagine why.

Some well-known writers (Jodi Picoult, Harlan Coben, S.E. Hinton, John Scalzi, et al.) dove in along with the rest of us lesser-known and unknown scribes. Collectively we whirled and howled about stuff like:

  • Low pay and no pay
  • Folks who question why we have to use so many cuss words
  • The assumption that we’ll never get published, i.e., be “real” writers
  • People who treat what we do as a hobby
  • Those who swear they could do this too, if only they had the time

Were we being thin-skinned? Check out a few of the tweets and let me know:

“It’s pretty impressive that you spend so much time on something that has so little chance of success.”

“I downloaded your book for free online. Could you please sign this printout of it?”


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thSometimes I regret my habit of reading while I eat. When dining or even snacking alone I tend to reach for a book, a newspaper, a magazine or even the back of a cereal box.

Dietitians would probably say that mindless eating often leads to overeating. Slow-food movement enthusiasts would likely tell me that paying half-attention to a plate means I’m missing the full experience.

And anyone who’s ever tried a recipe from the back of a food product would almost certainly warn against baking Tic Tac Toe Cookies, a peanut-butter cookie recipe found on the Heinz ketchup bottle.

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IMG_20150503_130130A couple of weeks back I gave away a 2016 calendar created by “Tundra” artist Chad Carpenter. Or would have, if the winner hadn’t been from Canada.

Not that I have anything against our brethren to the north (or, in my case, to the east). It’s just that mailing the calendar would have been ridiculously expensive.

That’s why I note that winners from outside the United States will receive a gift card instead of mailable items. In this case, I sent the reader a $15 Amazon.ca card.

Which means, of course, that the calendar is still up for grabs. So is a $50 gift card of your choice from the Swagbucks shop. But first things first.

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